Audyssey; Games Accessible to the Blind
Issue 45: third quarter, 2005
Edited by Ron Schamerhorn
Fun, Friendship, Knowledge, Charity
Welcome to the forty-fifth issue of Audyssey. This magazine is dedicated to the discussion of games which, through accident or design, are accessible to the blind either with or without sighted assistance.
In this issue we have a few new game announcements, reviews of some great games, and some very thought provoking articles submitted by our readers. Including the latest Dungeons & Dragons.
Note: This magazine uses plus-signs as navigation markers. Three plus-signs are placed above any articles or sections. Within these sections, two plus-signs denote the start of a new sub-section. Smaller divisions are marked by a single plus-sign. This allows people to use their search capabilities to go quickly to the next division they are interested in. For instance, the "Letters" section is preceded by three plus-signs. Each letter within it has two plus-signs before it. Answers to letters have a single plus-sign before them.
From The Editor
Virtual Accessible Game Convention: From Dream to Reality
Warring factions updated
Dungeons & Dragons update
News From Game Developers
Fearless Flin Development Diary: Part V
Game Announcements and Reviews
Distribution Information and Submission Policies
Hello readers out there. To those who have a long weekend signifying the virtual end of summer I hope it's a good one for you all. Also my best wishes for anyone with friends or family that might have been in the wake of hurricane Katrina.
I also apologize for this issue being out a few days later then usual and that I'll be forgiven. However on the upside of this issue being delayed I do think this may be my finest issue thus far as Audyssey's editor. The material was a fair bit and I've tried to fill this issue up with it.
However since I don't want to be flooded with this potential question later I'll answer it right now. You will notice a name or two coming up frequently through the following pages. The reason for this is simple. Those are the folks who contributed written material. My grattitude to those folks. Once again I'll repeat myself and say that it's not difficult or a burden to write a review or article for the magazine. Believe it or not I only received one review for PBX! I enjoy putting Audyssey together, but I do wish more folks would take part submitting items for publication. I do the editing and might even write in sometimes, but I don't want to write it entirely. Let's make it a great community effort! I'll get off the soapbox now and let you read this issue.
Okay, I've been wondering for a while how it is you guys managed to learn things like PHP. All the tutorials and such I've found are either barely informative even if they are easy to understand, or they have two much in one place and it's supremely complicated. I've been looking for a means of making a web-based game a la warring factions, hyperiums, etc and was thinking seriously of doing it using PHP. If anyone can point me in the direction of something they used to learn it, that'd be muchly appreciated.
it's been over 48 hours now since hurricane katrina devistated areas of louisiana, mississippi and alabama. i for one spent all day monday watching any live feeds i could find online, (i'm in the UK so coverage was sketchy). things look bleak over there with not much hope of the situation improving quickly. living in a country that never experiences such events, i can only guess at the sheer hell it must be to be caught in a hurricane, not too mention the aftermath. this list is regarded as a community, and i hope that noone on the list was in those areas on monday. and i also hope that folks on the list who have friends/family in the area have good news of those friends and family.
please folks, feel free to discuss mondays events, and the aftermath on the list.
Kevin - co-owner/moderator of the blind gamers discussion list
contact me via email/msn:
A few people and I are trying to form a project called the Gamer's Project. We are trying to gather people from everywhere to come up with ideas about accessible
games and try to improve them. You see, a lot of the games for the blind are games that you just walk back and forth, such as alien outback, dark destroyer,
trupanum, etc. These games are fun, however, we would like to get ideas for more 3D computer games and eventualy take these ideas to the game creaters,
like bscgames, gma games, etc. In the end, we were hoping to get the project big enough to comunicate with the big companies like blizard entertainment, and others. We want to try and get them to make some of their games accessible. See there are a lot of really good games out there, like, grand theft auto, warcraft, starcraft, diablo, but we can't play them because they're not accessible. If they can make these games accessible, blind people can play with sighted people. Its more money for the game creaters, more games never imaginable for the blind, improved experience for sighted gamers since the game
would then be in 3D surround, and interaction between blind and sighted people. Do you thihnk this is a good idea?
Also please be sure to check out are radio show, we stream well, when ever we want, we have a talk show discussing this project and eventually, we want
to get some big people on there. Check out our stream at
Put the above URL in your media player.
Reguards: The Gamer's project.
To download and play the computer chess board tutor that is accessible and
free go to,
Sean Hanlon's Accessible Chess Tutor
Click on the game link to download it. You will get a zip file that you need to unzip. If you unzip it to your c drive, you should get a folder named
This zip package doesn't come with the file glut32.dll and you will need that. You can download glut32.dll here
That is the direct download link. Just copy it into the ACT folder. Then look for the file ACT.exe and hit enter on it. You do not play against the computer or another person on-line, but it teaches you the correct moves for each piece both sides, designated as red and blue. In other words you move a blue piece, then you or someone else in your room moves a red piece. Or if you are on a text or voice chat site both of you could run this program or even use a braille or regular chess board and play each other.
It uses the SAPI voices installed in most XP computers.
But if you do not like the Microsoft voices you can buy better voices at,
They cost about $30 for one or two voices.
The ACT program has two modes, tutorial and manual that play differently.
In tutorial mode you do not use the arrow keys after you have chosen which piece to move, Here is what I do:
arrow to the piece,
then hit space again,
then on the third try you should get the first location where the piece can
Every hit of the space bar will go to another location, assuming there are
more than one.
If you are using the blue voice you will hear the moves to empty squares by
the blue voice.
If your piece can land on a red piece you will hear that placement in the
red voice and which piece of red you will land on.
When you decide where to move you hit enter to confirm it.
If you decide to move another piece just arrow to it without hitting enter.
It is only in manual mode that you hit space to select a piece and then
arrow to the new location, then hit enter to confirm it.
In this case if you hear the word error, then that is an illegal move and
will not be made.
And you can hit q to quit, which is not in the instructions!
I am getting requests for the walk through that I recorded for the first 4 missions of Lone Wolf. People are apparently not reading close enough. I want
to clarify: When requesting the files, notice that there are 4, not 1. Let me know if you want mission 1, mission 2, mission 3, mission 4, or all of
them. They are not all together. And, again, I will only respond to requests for them off! list!! Requests through an Email list will be ignored. This
is to keep list clutter down. The only 2 people who need to know that you want them, and which ones you want, are you and me. Thanks.
I'm writing this for several reasons. First, my proposal: there have been
many complaints about the lack of good, high-quality games for the blind.
People say, "yeah that game was good, but it doesn't compare to this game
for the sighted."
I personally think that the best game out there right now is audioquake, but
it is not fully accessible.
I know, I know, there are a lot of nifty games for the blind, but most of
them are like the little arcade games we used to play on the commodre 64.
I'm not dissing these games and their developers--hell, enemy attack is that
kind of game.
The reason that games for the blind are not extra high quality is because
there is a great lack of resources available to the developers of said
games. If any of you programmers of VI games has a mil or two, tell us
about how fine it is--but I don't think so. Due to this lack of finantial
resource, one, two, or three people have to do all the work. Even in Grizly
Gulch this was true. There were maybe five actors in that game. There is
also the fact that blind folks have very limited income for the most part,
and there are far more sighted people than blind ones. This means making
far fewer sales than would a company that puts out games for the sighted.
It also doesn't help that some people, some of the time, act like greedy
spoiled children when it comes to games. They either complain about the
games, (rather than giving positive feedback on changes desired,) or expect
freeware if a company shuts down. I'm not, by the way, saying that this
happens often, and I'm not excluding myself from that group because I was
that way until I started developing my own games and realized the tremendous
amount of work that it takes to create even a relatively simple game.
So the blind community has not experienced a tenth what we could. There are
no games for the blind, in my oppinion, that compare with the grand theft
auto series or other such games...
What if a large group of blind people, in their spare time, got together and
colaborated on the best game for the blind there is! Some could program,
some could work with sounds, some could be voice actors, and so on. Various
teams could work on this game. First the idea could, of course, be formed
by the discussion on this list. What do you want in a game? Why do you
play mortal combat and vice city, frustrating as it is?
Second, the programmers and sound engineers and whoever else is interested
could have a few chats. In these chats, game code could be talked over, and
each person given a different part of the game to work on. For example, one
person could work on 3d positioning and all that entails, while another
person could work on game levels. Durring this time, the sound people and
actors/actresses do there thing. Then the game is all put together and we
get all involved people to beta test it.
I know a lot of this message is stuff people already know, but I'm not just
writing to old hands, but to newcomers as well, because we need their
inspiration and fresh ideas.
What do ya think?
Virtual Accessible Game Convention: From Dream to Reality
by Michael Feir
Years ago, the idea of an accessible games convention was raised on the
Blindgamers list. It sparked quite a lively discussion. Wouldn't it be great
to hear game developers share their thoughts giving lectures about their
experiences creating the games we all cherish? Wouldn't it be nifty to hear
some of the stories from the early days of the industry from the people who
lived them? How about hearing some of the possibilities for future games
percolating through the minds of people with the skill and passion to brew
them into fresh gaming goodness? Perhaps, developers could have drawings for
free games for attendants to enter. Blind gamers the world over could meet
and greet each other live and in person. Alas, the wet blanket of cold hard
reality took hold. Who had the money to travel to some central location? How
would facilities needed to host such an event be paid for? In the face of
harsh economics, the enthusiasm slowly dwindled away. It just looked so
impossible back then.
While a physical convention is still an impossibility, a virtual world-wide
accessible games expo is now a very real possibility thanks to technology
invented by Ocusource and Talking Communities. The first Ocusource virtual
expo ran from June 8 through June 11. It was an amazing success. I can say
that from the positive personal experience I had both attending and
presenting an introductory tour of accessible games. People interested in
just how successful the first Ocusource Expo was from a statistics
perspective will be interested in the stats provided at the bottom of this
article. Use your search option and jump to the double asterisk or **. The
stats will be directly below that marker. For those of us who run screaming
from such things as statistics, I'll paint you a verbal picture. All sorts
of movers and shakers in the blindness world were on board. A very
inspirational keynote speech was given by Jim Stovall, founder of NTN which
is a descriptive video producer. Kurzweil's Steve Baum did an excellent talk
on version 10 of K1000 reading software. He participated while on vacation
in a hotel. It was a genuine pleasure to be able to personally and publicly
thank him for his efforts as I've found the reading software he helps
produce to be extremely valuable in everyday life. There was a guest speaker
who escaped from the collapsing world trade center with his guide dog. Even
I, a man who doesn't want such an animal for myself, found the story he told
absolutely riveting and inspirational. Plenty of educators and
representatives from various organisations dealing with blindness were in
attendance. These included Mike Calvo most famous for Freedombox, Elizabeth
O'Brien from the CNIB library, Jeffrey Hirschfelt speaking about
opportunities in the hospitality industry, Elayne Cohen-Strong speaking
about education for blind children, Cathy Anne Murtha from Access Technology
Institute, and many more. Pat Boone drew a crowd of something like eighty to
a hundred people for the evening entertainment. Of course, I was unable to
attend all the events live. However, presentations were archived so I could
get to hear them at my convenience. If something interested me deeply, there
were facilities to make getting in touch with speakers easy. People were
always available if technical difficulties presented themselves. Considering
it was the very first event of its kind, it was astounding how well it all
The next expo these folks are even now assembling concerns age-related
macular degeneration. It will be held from September 22 through 24. While
this is somewhat unsuitable for an accessible games convention, it is very
possible that some readers may know of either people or organisations who
would benefit from participating. Basically, if you have the skill to surf
the net, you have all the skill you need to fully participate. If you have a
microphone attached to your computer, you can hold down a key to talk
releasing it when you're done speaking. Typing in messages is also an
option. The software is accessible in conjunction with the access technology
already in use on your computer and you can enlarge text easily. Accessing
various things like conference rooms, an online notebook to keep track of
presentations important to you, visiting various exhibit booths, and other
such options are all done simply by clicking on regular links on the
convention site. It doesn't get any easier for attendants, so if you are in
contact with any relatives or friends who must deal with AMD, you'd be doing
them a big favour by letting them know about this event on September 22
Developers should also take heart as it doesn't get any easier than this for
presenters either. I spent around twenty minutes learning how to use
moderator options and finding out what I needed for a basic presentation.
More elaborate pre-recorded presentations are also possible using Powerpoint
along with other software. If you're interested in having an exhibiter's
booth, there is a fee of $400 US. You get excellent technical support and
the software to create your booth is all web-based. You can have drawings,
make it as easy as clicking on a link for attendants to request contact or
other information, and have your own private voicechat room for the duration
of the event.
What I, Ron Schamerhorn, and the people from Ocusource and Talking
Communities would like to do is have an accessible games convention run in
conjunction with their next blindness-focussed expo. This arrangement would
give game developers a lot of much-needed exposure to key people involved
with the blind as well as a high number of blind people who otherwise might
not seek them out. Also, since our scheduled events would be coordinated
with the other events taking place, it will give gamers a similar
opportunity to attend lectures from some very inspirational and interesting
guest speakers. Everyone stands to gain from this if game developers as well
as people in the blind gaming community are willing to pitch in. Ocusource
puts a lot of effort into advertising their events prior to their starting
and any lectures or presentations are then made available for at least
fourteen days after the event ends.
The exact shape and scope of this first accessible games convention depends
on the efforts we gamers and game developers are willing to put into it. Ron
and I will act as co-hosts of the event. We'll moderate scheduled
discussions on various topics, introduce speakers, etc. We'll also shape the
overall theme and schedule of the convention in conjunction with Ocusource
and Talking Communities as well as any developers or individuals who choose
to do presentations. It's up to the rest of you to give us the building
blocks we need to make the first ever world-wide accessible games convention
a success. Ron and I can't do it alone, but we're both veterans at creating
issues of Audyssey that are greater than the sum of their parts. With your
help, this could be a watershed moment for accessible gaming. Help us make
We're already hard at work coming up with an agenda for the conference which
will give developers time to present their own products and ideas while also
containing lectures and scheduled round-table discussions which will elevate
the experience beyond mere advertising to something that will have lasting
value for people who attend. What kind of lasting value? Think of what fun
accessible games have been for us. Think about the skills we've learned and
the experiences we've had. Interactive fiction can teach comprehension,
spelling and typing skills in addition to whatever subjects they're written
about. Pinball Xtreme is all about angles, orientation, and gaining an
intuitive sense of table layout and ball physics. Alien Outback and other
similar arcade-style games teach quick reflexes, hand-ear coordination,
resource management and fast critical thinking. The current generation of
sighted people have grown up with all these advantages while seeing their
computers as fun. Games are a billion dollar industry today and have been
part of mainstream culture for two decades. Video arcades and now
multy-player games using the Internet have made games a social connection
point. In contrast, the current generation of blind people have viewed their
computers as tools of work and drudgery. They learn skills they aren't
personally motivated to learn or practice for jobs many of them may never
obtain. All this has got to change. Accessible games are an excellent
motivator but awareness of what's available and what's possible given enough
support has got to start spreading. Educators need to know what games might
help them teach classroom lessons or possibly get through to unenthusiastic
or troubled students. Parents need to understand the benefits and sheer joy
that accessible games can offer their blind children. Having an accessible
games convention as part of an Occusource event is the best possibility I've
seen in a long time to get the word out fast and far. If we put forth a good
effort, we'll gain the respect and response of a larger community inspiring
more people to become accessible gamers and possibly inciting the passion to
create more accessible games.
Ron and I as well as Dr. Lou Lipschultz of Ocusource need to hear from those
of you who are interested in either attending or especially contributing
time and talent to the convention. This way, Ron and I will know what we
have to work with as we construct the schedule of events. There are costs
involved in hosting this kind of event despite it being free for all to
attend. As a whole, the gaming community doesn't have a lot of funds to
sponsor this kind of event. However, there are other ways we can contribute
to their overall success. Ocusource needs to hear from developers interested
in presenting and possibly hosting online exhibit booths at the convention.
Also, they can use some volunteer help from the gaming community. This help
would include such things as making telephone calls and other tasks
necessary for the success of the overall event. This will help them
determine the resources they can provide and in tern help us shape the event
accordingly. You can reach me, Michael Feir, at:
Ron Schamerhorn can be contacted at:
Dr. Lou Lipschultz, the founder of Ocusource can be reached at:
Success of the OcuSource Expo of June 8-11, 2005
The event was a brilliant success as you can see from the following
June 8-11 live portion:
List of 7 items
. 120 presentations provided through our partner's web-conferencing
. 20 exhibitors
. 12,700 visits
. 4,800 unique visitors
. 467,000 hits
. 71,000 page views
. All 50 states & 62 countries
Event total (including the following 14 days of archived presentations)
List of 6 items
. 625,000 hits
. 25,000 visits
. 10,500 unique visitor
. 623,000 hits
. 95 countries
. Downloads of the presentations occurred from the 11th to the 25th = 6558
A Massive Multiplayer space Strategy game
Reviewed and updated by Darren Harris July 2005
Welcome to Warring Factions. Others, and myself have already reviewed this game but I have chosen to review it again. My reason for this, is because the last time I reviewed this game, was around a year ago, and some significant developments have come to light since then. In addition, I have also discovered some serious holes in the previous review, so it is my hope that I have now corrected my previous errors. I left the game for a time and I have recently rejoined, it was then that I noticed the changes and my errors so I have decided to re-review this fantastic game. I haven't re-written the whole review, I have simply updated the existing review from the issue of Audyssey Magazine that it was originally written for and subsequently approved for submission. Thanks to www.audiogames.net and their search engine, I was able to find my article with relative ease. Thanks to them for archiving all the issues of Audyssey so far!
Warring Factions, is a game of management. Manage your colonies, fleets, trade, war and piece and diplomacy. You start off with a small colony of 10000 people, very basic technology, basic ships
And 20000000 credits. 20000000! You say, but you end up spending quite a bit
of that at first. There is a lot to do in this game, especially when setting up any new colony.
Choose your faction, whether you wish to be part of the Commonwealth, the
Alliance, Unitology, or The Association. Choose wisely, because the choice you make could well prove interesting for you. As the game
title suggests, the 4 factions are at war! But recently agreements have been
reached and there is an uneasy piece at the present time. So find the faction that
suits you and go with them. Information on each of the factions is below.
Note, the below faction information has been taken directly from the game
with the permission of the game creator.
The Commonwealth is a group of traders that seek only to increase their own wealth. They are generally peaceful, however, if their systems are threatened,
they have considerable resources to draw upon and should not be taken lightly.
The Alliance is a loosely associated band of mercenaries that come together only when their homes are threatened. Generally, they are bloodthirsty, untrustworthy,
but their loyalty can be bought for a price. Internal power struggles are common.
The Association is a peaceful group, dedicating their lives to furthering research and their citizen's lives throughout their systems. They will fight only
when threatened, and prefer avoidance to conflict. When they do fight, however, they usually bring all of their considerable force to bear.
The Unitology is a rebellious religious sect who gained their foothold after betraying the Associating and plundering the Shelter Defence Legion's home world.
Believing that the endtimes are near, they declared their intent to purge the universe of unbelievers and bring down the corrupt SDL. To attain their goals
they will use whatever means necessary and are viewed by other factions as terrorists without morals.
Due to their hatred for the SDL, their home world is not under SDL protection. They are, however, being assisted in guarding their home system by what it
is believed to be the alien race inciting their hostile views. It is rumoured that the guardians will destroy everyone who strays from the path.
(This faction is not recommended for beginners.)
Crimson Moon Accord
The Crimson Moon Accord is an alien faction, consisting of four different races. They are the original inhabitants of the Crimson Expanse, humanities new
(This is a roleplaying faction and serves the purpose of advancing the games storyline at the admins will. Do not expect to be treated fairly here. Expect
to get killed a lot. Expect to suffer. Do not have fun!)
The Outcast describe rulers banned from their former factions for crimes or similar reasons. They have little in common on an individual level and have
no common goals. However, fragile alliances exist among some of them for the protection of the pack.
Note, you cannot become a member of the Outcast unless you have been booted from your faction. The 3 main factions, all have a governing council. The governing council consists of a president, vice president and a group of
advisors. As a member of a faction, you are able to vote for anybody who is
running for faction leadership. The person with the most votes will be the
president. Then it follows that there will be a vice president, and then after that, the 3 runners up will be advisers to the president and vice president. It is
very possible for the faction governments to banish members from their
faction if you don't comply with faction laws, as laid down by the ruling council. This has to be a unanimous vote. This is the only way you will ever
become part of the outcast.
To illustrate this, I shall post the Commonwealth laws below, as I am part of that faction. The laws are as follows: Coming directly from our currant president
Being the new president of the Commonwealth I plan to take the last wishes Volkmar had made as president and push for most to become true. Now I agree that
our members need more say in our government instead of keeping everything behind closed doors. So this will be the beginning for new ways of the Commonwealth.
This topic is for our Faction's members to suggest new laws for the government to better the Commonwealth as much as possible. If you wish to put a law
into motion please post here with your idea and why we should implement this/these laws. Then if other CW members agree to pass the law the High Council
of the Commonwealth will take a vote to pass the law. Posting here will not guarantee the law but it is very possible for it to be passed.
I will also be working on a punishment system for law breaking. On the other hand there will be a reward system for valuable information and being just
being very useful to the CW. Enforcement will be similar to Volkmar's examples most likely:
"I'm rather fond of the 2 strikes rule, followed by the "Let the Punishment fit the Crime" method of discipline. Ex: You take someone's colony, they get
it back and another one of yours. You do something to hurt someone's income, you pay them a fine. You verbally(writtenly?) abuse another member, Government
leaders get to delete your posts in the forums"- Volkmar
Do not repost these laws since they are already have been passed and are the base laws of our faction:
1. No CW member may attack another CW member unless the attack is part of a government-sanctioned punishment for breaking The Law.
2. No CW member may give Faction Levy sponsored tech to anyone not part of the CW.
3. All CW members have the right, and the duty to ask for assistance from a member who is better off than they are; be it credit loans, colony hookups, gameplay
advice or blueprints; and the better off member has a duty to render the requested assistance if it won't severely put them out.
If one of the tree's roots is strengthened, then the whole benefits by that root's heightened ability to participate. ASK FOR HELP!!!
4. All CW members/Member groups have the right to claim individual planets/systems as solely their own if no-one else inhabits that area at the time. It's
a big universe and nothing in it is unique, there is room for everyone.
5. All CW members have the right to Stand up and be accounted for, to be heard. It doesn't matter if you are a big player or a total newbie, you have one
vote in all public discussions/debates, and the right to have your concerns addressed, your suggestions considered, and questions answered.
6. All CW members have the right to apply for membership in an existing Empire, or start one of their own. Being in an empire will help you progress at
least 10 fold.
Thank you for your time
It should be noted, that with in each of the factions, various empires
exist. I can certainly speak for the Commonwealth and say that the empires
in that faction work collectively to benefit the faction. At present, certainly in The Commonwealth, the empire I belong to "The Imperial High Guard," it's very good for new players, or if you are like me, a player who left the game for a time and who is now coming back to play again. The leader of the empire is good at explaining things.
Features of the game:
1. Gather resources to turn into technology, including food to sell to your
It's advisable to sell food to your people that are made by your farms,
because that generates more income. In addition, you can sell any additional resources on the local trading markets. All trading markets are player driven, players build large space stations where they can sell the resources they produce for a profit. They will also purchase resources from other players. Note Stations are very expensive to build and need many resources. You won't be doing this straight away.
2. Researching your own technology.
Use your own research formulas to see what results you can get and then
to gain better technology.
Therefore, the more you invest in your budget, the better quality of result
you are likely to achieve.
You can research any technology, including technology combinations; i.e.
various ship combinations, mines or any other device.
3. Set your science priorities.
It is possible to focus your scientific research in particular areas,
whether you wish to research more methods of production, processing or
Otherwise, you may have it set equally, so that all your priorities are set
roughly the same, and then the increase is right across the board.
The various options you have here are as follows:
A. Ingenuity. This is for intelligence. You can't build with this, it's
simply so that your scientists can gain more intelligence and be more
skilled with their designs.
B. Agriculture. Research for better farms.
C. Mining. Better mines.
D. Processing. This deals with the processing of raw materials.
E. Production. You have to know how to build something before you can build
F. Chemics. Good for ship armour and also complements weapons.
G. Physics. Helps with ship drives and shield generators and other matters
concerning space travel.
H. Medical. You'll need this for hospitals, or to make cabins on the Colony
Transports more bearable.
I. Weapons. Need more batteries on your destroyers? Or single barrel guns or
cannons to go on your other ships? Or do you need those ground defences?
Here is where you find them!
J. Drives. Need small vessel drives for your fighters, Capital ship drives
for your transport and Military capital ships? Or big Antimatter drives or if you are really feeling risky, unstable antimatter drives for
massively armed Warp Spheres? Oh just in case you were wondering, they are unstable because every time you use them there is a risk of them self-destructing, taking your vessel and any docked vessels with it. So be mindful that's a big risk!! Focus your research on here!
K. Construction. This is for various buildings across the board, it also
deals with ship Hulls which include: Fighter, Transport, Colony, Bomber,
Battleship, Probe, Destroyer, Space Station, Corvette, Carriers, Crimson Gunboats, Crimson Cruiser, (note neither gunboats or croozers can't be researched, but by exploration, you can discover prints left behind.)Troop Transports and high
It's important to note the following:
1.. That the science points on all types of research excluding ingenuity, they represent the amount of scientists you can focus on that particular part of your research project at any given time. For example, if weapons were showing 67 points, you couldn't then put 70 scientists in there to focus research on weapons. The more colonies you have, the more scientists you have at each colony, will determine just how quickly your science points will grow.
2.. Depending on how many research facilities you have at a particular colony, will depend on how many scientists you can place in overall research. Each research project that is undertaken is done on an individual colony. So in effect, you can have several projects running on several colonies.
4. Design your own ships. Once you have a blueprint for a particular type of
ship hull, you then have to design the specifications that you want this
ship to have. Including various weapons, engines, shields and armour. Each
hull can take up to a certain weight. Any engine, shield, weapon or armour
type also will be a given weight as well, so when you design your ship, you
need to take this into consideration. For example, there's no point in you
designing a fighter craft, that has a very powerful but very heavy weapon
mounted on it, but hardly any shields, armour and a small engine. You have to
find a good combination. For example, if you find that a shield is to heavy
to mount on a fighter, then give it more armour because that means more
Protection. The knock on effect of adding shields, weapons and armour, is that it will reduce the speed and range of your craft. So for example, if you wanted a fast but long range colonisation vessel, you might consider putting no weapons or any form of protection on her, as then she will fly further and faster.
5. Trading. Trade your resources at player owned trading outposts. I'll go a little more into
detail on this. You can build transport ships, load them with cargo and
transport your cargo to another planet, access the local trade option if you have a colony on that planet, and trade at any one of the given outposts. Or if you have no colony, do a scan and you will see if there any trading outposts you can fly to, so that you can sell your resources. Alternatively, you can
strike up a deal with another player or large empire and gain regular
profits that way. Note, if you already have resources on 1 of your colonies that you wish to sell, simply go to the local trade option, click on an outpost and sell your goods. You don't need any transport vessels to sell to stations in orbit of the planet that you have a settlement on. The local trade outposts are also good if you wish to build a large vessel or large number of vessels and you don't have enough of a particular resource on your colony. Note, some trade outposts might not have all that you require so you might have to shop around abit.
6. Buy and sell blueprints or ships. Buy and sell your blueprints and ships
on the blueprint or ship markets. The Ship Markets are planet specific. The
Blueprint markets are faction specific. So, for example, if you belong to
the Commonwealth, you won't see any blueprints that have been sold on the
Association markets. Although a point to note, there is a blueprints forum,
where you can advertise to other factions. Blueprints are organized as
A. Resources. Mines, farms, wells and drilling rigs.
B. Institutions. Entertainment Facilities, Schools, hospitals, Police
Stations, Research Labs, Malls, (build loads and make loads of credits!) and teraformers. Yes, you can now teraform planets. But these devices are ridiculously expensive and you really don't
want to spend money on one of these, unless you are absolutely serious about
colonizing somewhere. We also have Imperial Administration Offices to help
tackle the corruption problems you get in any Empire.
C. Ship Hulls. Fighter, Bomber, Battleship, Carrier, Destroyer, Space
Station, Corvette, Transport, Colonisers, Probes, Crimson Gunboats, Crimson Cruisers, Troop Transports and Spheres.
D. Weapons. Single Barrel guns, Cannons and Batteries.
E. Armour. Armoured plating and Energy Shields.
F. Ship Drives. Small Vessel drives, for fighters, Probes gunboats and Bombers,
Capital ship drives for Transports, Colonisation vessels and the large battleships, destroyers Crimson Cruisers, Troop Transports and Corvettes, antimatter drives and unstable antimatter drives
for the larger spheres.
G. Defences. Anti-Assault Batteries and Ground to air Missile
Note, from time to time, it's wise to clean your blueprints out. You can
delete the old blueprints in favour of newer prints. Or you can archive them for later use. By archiving them, you won't actually see them, you will just be hiding them. So why not delete them? Well the simple answer is, that by deleting them, they will go to somewhere called "forgotten knowledge." This is if you like, a second hand blueprint store where by anybody from any faction can go and pick up blueprints cheaply. Because you may not wish to give your technology away to another faction, especially if the technology was funded and researched by faction raised Levy funds, the best thing that can be done is to archive them. A point to note with
regards to selling prints on the markets, if you sell a print that isn't
yours, then you might make the original creator of that print angry and they
might come after you. In the outer reaches, there is nothing to protect you.
In addition, you can also name your prints and ships. This adds the personal
touch to anything you have researched or designed. Who says you can't have a
fleet of Imperial Superstar Destroyers! Or Borg Cubes!!! "Resistance is
Futile!!!" Please note, if you are a new player, then "forgotten knowledge" can prove to be very useful in making some advances early on in the game.
7. Colony management. Name your Colony! Set the government, laws, wages and
taxes of each of your colonies. Some planets aren't as habitable as others,
as a result, your colonists may bee unhappy. They might also get ill,
because of the inhabitability of the planet. Atmosphere, temperature and gravity affect the habitability of any given planet. So you will need to do
something about that. Construct hospitals to make people more healthy, amusement parks in order to bring
the happiness up. Everything you construct needs workers. So this can help your unemployment problems if you have any. The larger the colony you have, the more unemployed you can have. The more unemployed you have, the less people there are paying taxes. Also, if you have a great number of over-qualified people on your given colony, this to can create unemployment because jobs aren't being created fast enough to be filled. So whilst schools are important, you don't want to build loads of them because that will have an adverse affect. Also if you have the exact amount of jobs to people ratio, then this can have an affect on your colony growth. It can slow down, or even halt your population growth. Global economy can also affect greatly the happiness of
the populous. Whilst we are hear, I'll talk
about some of the other building types you can construct. These include:
A. Mines, Including Iron, Copper, Silver and gold, Titanium, Uranium and
B. Drilling Rigs for oil.
C. Farms and Wells for food and water.
D. Schools. These make your population more intelligent and the greater
number of people you have that are over qualified, the better. It's good for
the economy, and it also allows for colony growth.
But as has already been mentioned, you don't want to flood your colony with to many intelligent people.
E. Hospitals. Self-explanatory.
F. Police Stations. Well someone has to keep you criminals in order!
G. Research Facilities. These are what you use to research various
technologies. The more you own, the larger the project you can undertake.
Also, if you have research facilities that run at a better rate of
efficiency, there's an increasingly good chance of you being able to
research with much better results.
Note, the same principle can be applied to any building or anything you research that has any efficiency rating. If you can research something with greater efficiency, then it will work better for you.
H. Imperial administration offices. These again are ridiculously expensive.
These are here to help to combat the corruptive element that always exists,
especially in the larger colonies. When you have a percentage of corruption,
you lose a degree of your income. At first the losses are very small but
over time this can increase significantly. It's colony and population
driven. The Imperial Admin Offices are there to help decrees the corruption.
I. Terrorformers. These will change over time, the atmosphere and temperature
of a planet. But these devices are ridiculously expensive. It is advisable
to only undertake such a project only if you are either in a group of
people, so you make it an empire or faction wide project, or unless you are
so ridiculously rich as to be able to afford one yourself.
J. Malls. Shopping malls! Good for your people and also they will generate income for you.
K. Ground defences. Keep those pesky enemies away with a nasty array of
Anti-Assault Batteries or Ground to Air Missile Launchers.
As well as being able to set your colony up as described above, you can also set your colony's development up as well, so you can direct whether your colony is more of a mining outpost, or whether it is good for scientific research. By default, any colony you set up, the development is set to "open development." This is when there is no specialising in any given field. Each field of development has a percentage, so when you first set up a colony, all the various developments are set to 100%. But if you change your development set-up, the particular area you focus on, will take the percentages from the other areas so then you can focus on that particular area. There are 4 different developments to choose from, these are: Taken from a question answered on one of the forums
Urban Centralization: You colonies build more apartment buildings and individual houses are frowned upon. As such your colonies sq km will increase slower
but your population will increase faster. I think that's is all this one affects.
Industrial Infrastructure: Gives mining bonuses to your mines, so that they can get a better haul in a shorter period of time.
Technology Level: Decreases the amount of time it takes to finish a project, and increases its quality when it finishes.
Military Installations: Your Civil Defence increases to more than a colony of your size should have. It also lets your Civil Defence, AA, GML, and any fleets
there a combat bonus if a battle happens at that colony.
The % modifiers only increase when your sq km increases, so a stagnant colony will not change its modifiers. Also, do note, that the bonus is derived from
the ratio of new land to existing land, so a +5 km vs 1000 km existing is going to have a bigger impact than +5 vs 10 000 km existing. Its designed this way
for smaller colonies to get the best results, while larger colonies have to live with the existing infrastructure, while building the new stuff in the
8. Making and naming your fleets. You can start your own fleets. Whether it be a single colony ship for a colonise mission, or whether it be a probe ship for exploration, or whether it be a fleet of combat vessels to repelle an enemy attack, or to invade and capture or destroy an enemy colony. You have to have your ships at any of your colonies in order for you to group them into fleets. When you have selected your fleet flagship, you can then select the ships you wish to join it. You can also name your fleet to anything you wish. If it's a colony ship fleet, you could call it something like "emigration" or if it's a battle fleet you could call it something like "rogue squadron" or "invasion force Alfa." It adds another personal touch to game style and play.
9. Star log. Receive messages when your construction order is complete. Receive messages if someone has sent you money, or a message, or blueprints. You can now set your options so that you receive an email at any time your starlog receives any information. Very useful.
10. Star log Pager. This is excellent. If a message comes through and you
have the pager active, then it will let you know, no matter where you are.
Even if you have come out of the game and gone to another site. Keep the
pager open and always stay in touch with the game.
11. Sending in-game private messages. This proves very useful if you are
making secret deals or sharing blueprints. Or you can send empire wide
Private Messages so all in your empire can gain from your wisdom.
In addition to sending a message, you can also send people requests to ally
yourself with them, you can declare war, piece or set them to neutral status. Members of the Faction Hi Council can send out faction wide messages.
12. Known Empires. In addition to the above, you can also view the various diplomatic
relations you have with the various players you have come across. Any allies
that you have, you will also be able to see if they are online or not. This
can be useful for obvious reasons. This ties in with the Star Log because initially when there are any diplomatic changes made, either piece or war, your Star Log is notified. But if you click on known empires, you will be able to see whom you are friends with, whom you are neutral with and who are your enemies.
13. Sending money. This is good for trading purposes. If you've sent a
transport ship full of resources to another player to trade with them, they
will then send you the desired amount agreed upon.
14. Sending blueprints or complete inventory tech disclosures. Can bee
useful if you wish to help out another player or to ensure that the empire
that you belong to, is fully up-to-date when it comes to technology. Note,
make certain you have cleared all the useless prints out of your arsenal, or
you won't be the number 1 person on the recipients list. Nobody wants
15. Various forums. Including an announcements forum, general chat,
questions and answers and development. There are also faction and empire
specific forums as well.
16. The ability to start and or join an empire. Why not work together with a
group of people with in your faction for a common goal. Or, have a cross
faction Empire. But other members of your faction might not look upon these
empires favourably. By that, trust is an absolute. It might be considered
that someone is working with in the faction to pass on sensitive information
to an enemy faction. These empires should be considered with a great deal of
17. Starting new fleets. Select a flagship and start a new fleet. You want a
fighter wing, defensive groups or invasion forces, this is where you can do
it. Also make your fighters dock with large carrier ships and transport them
from 1 star system to another.
18. Navigating your fleet. Send your fleet to various star systems and
planets. Select your mission type including transport, colonize, assault,
conquer and more. Do scans of your local surroundings to see what's around
you. You might have an enemy fleet near you, or you might need to send your
current fleet on a supporting mission to give support to another fleet. Set
your fleet stance and orders. Whether you wish your fleet to act
defensively, whether you wish to attack your enemies on route, answer
distress calls from either faction members, neutrals or friends, or answer
support calls from faction members, neutrals or friends. Also set up rally points for trips that you make regularly so you don't have to look for the co-ordinates of where you wish to send a given fleet to. Useful for either transport runs, patrol routes or any other reason you can think of.
19. Friend/foe designation. Set players as friend, neutral or foe. This is
useful in various situations including your fleet settings and of course, in
case an enemy pays a visit to your colony.
20. Exploration. You need to know what's around you. Explore different star
systems with probes. Send them out on exploration missions. Useful for
looking for new colonies or spying on your enemies. When scouting for new
colonies, it's important that you take note of the properties present on any
planet you visit. Some planets have poor habitability but good resources,
but others have poorer resources but very high degrees of habitability.
There isn't a hard and fast rule here.
21. Known Universe. See all the planets and star systems that you have
explored. This is useful if you want to send a fleet to a planet with out
having to look it up again on the star map. Use filters so you can show from the top down the types of planets you wish to view first.
22. Command Overview. Here you can view your colonies, research projects,
ship construction, fleets and other information including if there's any
battles taking place. If there are battles taking place then view the battle
log to see who the participants were and who prevailed.
23. Star maps. There is a visual star map and now, thanks to making the
developer aware and various tests run by myself and a couple of others, there is now a fully accessible text
version of the star map. Use the star map to see the distances between the
various star systems. This is important, as each ship or fleet has a range.
Use the star map to point a fleet towards a particular star system and send
it there. Note, the universe is to large to display on 1 map, so you have
the ability to focus the map in a particular area. The universe is
completely 3 dimensional.
24. Good game community. This includes people helping out newbies who are
completely lost, and the Warring Factions Radio. Listen to the radio whilst
playing the game, make requests for songs to be played on the Warring
Factions Radio forum. Advertise your trading outposts on the radio also.
25. Naming systems, planets and planet graphics. That's right folks, you can
name any star system that you have explored but haven't yet been named. This
is done with system, planet or upload credits. At present, you can get these
in 2 ways. Firstly, you accumulate either system or planet naming credits
from time to time. Or, you can purchase them. When it comes to graphic
uploading credits, you have to purchase those. All the uploading graphic
credits do, is when again, you've explored another planet, you can design
your own planet picture and upload it and others will see your graphic. Any
graphics that you have created and uploaded will have your in-game name next
Warring Factions is the ultimate in Micromanagement. There's always plenty
to be getting on with. It's a persistent game, meaning that it's never
ending. You can always do more exploration whilst you are weighting for your
research projects to finish, or construction orders to be completed. In all,
there are around 30 galaxies, over 200000 star systems and over 1000000 planets to be explored.
So there's always information gathering to be done.
It does cost you to play this game however. A one off payment of $10 gives you a full
account. Taken directly from the game help file, an explanation of a full account and what you get is below:
When you create an account, it will be a "trial" account, expiring after 30 days. During that time you can upgrade to a full account for a one-time payment
of $10. The payment option for the full account is the same as for the ad-free account. Basically you are buying one month of ad free access. After this
period runs out, your account will be reverted to a normal ad supported full account. In addition to covering some of the costs involved in running this
game, this is mostly intended to curb the creation of multiple accounts per player. The first time you buy a full account, you will receive 2 System Naming,
5 World Naming and 2 World Upload credits.
Once your first month of ad-free access runs out, you can upgrade your account again for $10/month. Ad-Free accounts are a way of donating to the success of the game.
The naming and upload credits are meant to be the main source of income for Warring Factions. They give players a way of permanently leaving their mark
in the game.
Warring Factions accepts Credit Card, 1-900 and direct debit payments, depending on your location, through Verotel. We also accept PayPal
as an optional payment processor. If you chose Velcom for your full/ad-free account, you have the option to subscribe for $10/month, automatically renewing
your ad-free account until you cancel. If you decide to cancel your subscription, your account will be reverted to an ad-supported full account.
FAQ about accounts
What does a $10 full account get me?
the ability to play the game for as long as it's around, 5 world
2 system-naming credits, 2
1 month no ads access.
Ability to Vote in faction politics,
and bitch to the Devs to fix stuff you don't like.
As far as the trial account goes, it didn't even take me a week to decide. Although getting used to the game and
how it works might take extra time, in that there's a great deal to it. But
as with all things, that comes with time. $10 isn't much admittedly, but if
it turns out that you don't like the game, then that $10 isn't worth
spending. You will require a Paypal account in order to pay your $10. Go to
to pay for the game. Unfortunately, if you'd don't have an
account and you are creating one, they do have these pathetic imbedded
images that look fancy but are of no help to screen readers at all. Whilst
there is an audio file that speaks the numbers you have to type in, I
personally didn't find the speech that clear so you might require sighted
assistants to set this up. If you have a paypal account, then naturally there is no problem. Just
make the payment as per normal.
In order to play the game, you need to go to
It's definitely worth a look.
The game is brilliant fun and it's full of strategy. It's not like your
other types of games that are linear, you really do have quite a range of
things to do and the one thing that it has over other games, is that the
research tree isn't linear either. It depends on your formulas and to some
degree, probability as well. But the tec tree is completely open. So you can
research any technology and you can get better versions of the same
technology. For example, 1 farm might require 5 workers and work at 120%
efficiency where as you might get a farm with better research, that has 9
workers but be over 300% efficient. As I said before, it does depend on
probability to some degree, but it also depends very much on the formula
that you use.
This game is for anybody who likes total freedom of scope over that of other
games where you get a limited playing style
When Harry Met Silly...
By CAROLE GOLDBERG
Harry Potter and the Way-Past-Their-Sale-Date Eggs and Ham
by Dr. J.K. Seuss-Rowling
I do not like Lord Voldemort.
I do not like him. No, old sport.
Do not like him here or there.
I do not like him anywhere.
I do not like that kid Malfoy.
I do not like that Dursley boy.
I'd rather eat a red-tide clam
Than moldy old green eggs and ham.
Not at Hogwarts. Not with Hagrid.
Not at all. Some things are sacred.
Could I? Would I? With a dragon?
Could I? Would I? From a flagon?
Could I? Would I? With a Snitch?
Could I? Would I? With a witch?
Not with a dragon, not with a flagon.
Not on a broom or an Alley Diagon.
Not with a goblet, not with a stone.
Not with a half-blood or on my own.
But still, I can say this for sure:
I'm rather fond of Dumbledore.
And yes, of course, I do get on
With dear Hermione and Ron.
Harry Potter Is Gone With the Wind
by Margaret J.K. Mitchell-Rowling
"Oh, Melanie, do you think all the boys will come to my 17th birthday party
here at Tara?"
"Why surely, yes, Scarlett."
"And Melly, do you think that charming new young man from England will join
us? The one with those adorable spectacles and coal-black hair and that
mysterious scar on his forehead? I'm sure he got it in a duel over some beautiful
English girl. Do you think she was more charming than me, Melly?"
"No, Scarlett. No one is more charming than you. At least, not in Georgia."
"Oh, Melly, I just find young Harry to be so, so ... enchanting. They say he
comes from some kind of royalty. He is so much more educated than the
Tarleton twins, and forgive me, Melly, but he seems brighter than dear Ashley and so
much more refined than that rude ruffian Rhett Butler.
"And he seems to have strange powers, Melly. He tells me he can wave a wand
and fill our tables with delicacies of all kinds, even chocolate frogs! Why
would anyone ever want to eat a chocolate frog, I wonder? But as God is my
witness, if I were to marry Harry, I would never go hungry again!"
"What will you wear to your party, Scarlett?"
"Oh, Melly, it is so hard to choose. But if I cannot find the right frock,
well then, I fear it will be curtains for me!"
"But Scarlett, if you should marry an Englishman, our fine Southern
gentlemen will be truly devastated."
"That may be so, Melly. But frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
Harry Potter and the Monstrous Black Winged Thing
by E.A. J.K. Poe-Rowling
Once upon a midnight dreary as I pondered, bleak and bleary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a flapping
As of someone rapping, tapping on my chamber of secrets door.
On that musty, fusty, rusty, ever-trusty Hogwarts door
Somewhere up in Gryffindor.
Hush up, said I, thing of evil! Hush up, whether bird or devil!
I'm studying. You know the score. We need more points for Gryffindor.
I have no time for quests or Quidditch. Go away now, go! Good riddage!
Do not tempt me, I beseech you. Do not speak and do not screech, you
Creature from the darkling shore.
Wait a minute! What's that say you? What's that on the greasy tray you
Hold before my dorm room door?
Could that be a slice of pizza? Zounds, Ron, where'd you get the eats, huh?
Hope you'll let me share your treats, duh.
Sorry I was such a boor.
Quoth the Weasley: Nevermore.
Harry Potter and the Tale of the Grisly Guillotine
by Charles J.K. Dickens-Rowling
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of
wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was
the epoch of incredulity - it was spring break at Hogwarts and we were going to Paris.
But Ron cast a spell that went all wrong - as usual - and instead of the
Paris of today we wound up smack in the middle of the French Revolution.
"Oh Harry, this is really revolting!" Hermione squealed. And as usual,
Hermione was right.
There in a squalid square was a giant contraption that towered above the
muttering crowd, its cruel, sharp blade gleaming with the evil shine of a
scimitar. And that basket at its base - what was it meant to catch? Surely no snowy
owl nor familiar cat nor pet rat would nestle in that bloody old thing.
And who was that grim and ancient woman who looked like Hagrid but without
his good heart, plying her knitting needles as though they were daggers? And
what was the hidden message in the filthy fabric that flowed from those
clicking sticks as she hummed a song of doom?
Compared to this murderous machine, the Dark Forest and Aragog the spider
and Fluffy the three-headed beast and the Dementors were truly a piece of
So I did what had to be done. I waved my holly-and-phoenix-feather wand and
got us out of there as fast as I could, safely back to our Hogwarts
four-poster beds hung with red velvet curtains.
And I can tell you this was a far, far better thing that I did, than I have
ever done; it was a far, far better rest I went to than I have ever known.
Harry Potter and the Mysterious Guy in the Rye
by J.D. J.K. Salinger-Rowling
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to
know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my
parents were occupied and all before they had me. But I don't feel like going into
it, if you want to know the truth.
I'll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me. Like that
goddamn scar. And the Dursleys, those goddamn phonies. And Ackley cutting
his goddamn toenails. And that hat, and how it gets you into a dorm at Hogwarts
Prep. That phony slob Ackley says to me, "That's a deer shooting hat."
I took it off and looked at it. I sort of closed one eye, like I was taking
aim at it.
"This is a people sorting hat," I said. "They sort people with this hat."
Sometimes I think somebody has put a goddamn spell on me. It makes me feel
like I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have
to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're
running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from
somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the
rye and all.
"That would be grand," this kid Weasley says.
"Grand. There's word I really hate. It's a phony. I could puke every time I
Harry Potter and the Two-Handkerchief Love Story
by Erich J.K. Segal-Rowling
What can you say about a 25-year-old Muggle who died?
That she was brassy and sassy. That she loved witchcraft and Quidditch. And
Hogwarts. And me.
"I'm Hermione Granger," she said when we met. "A wizard-to-be of Muggle
"You look stupid and rich, Harry Potter," she said to me.
"You're wrong," I protested. "I'm actually smart and poor."
"Oh no, Harry, I'm smart and poor."
She was always right, and she really knew how to cast a spell.
But when she grew ill, no one - not Hagrid, not Albus Dumbledore, not
Professor McGonagall, no wizard with all the secret potions in the world -
could save her.
Without her, I was through with wizardry forever.
I renounced my magical powers. Tossed my wand down a well, set Hedwig the
owl free, burned my Hogwarts yearbook and moved to Hartford and became an
Oh, and I changed my name.
Love means not ever having to say you're Harry.
What's this game?
By Ron and Costello
Ron: Well Costello, I'm going to play a game with you. You know, I went to
all the web sites and downloaded all the games.
Costello: Look Ron, if you're the Editor of Audyssey, you must know all the
Ron: Right, certainly do.
Costello: Well, I never played all the games, so you'll have to tell me
their names, and then I'll know what game to pick.
Ron: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know strange as it may seem,
they give these computer games now a days, very peculiar names.
Costello: You mean funny names?
Ron: Strange names, like, Fart Man, and?
Costello: His brother Pac?
Ron: Yeah, Pac Man.
Costello: And their French cousin.
Ron: Dyna man, oh I see! Well let's see, we have in the computer, we have
What's this game, Where is it, and I Don't Know.
Costello: That's what I want to find out.
Ron: I say, What's this game, Where is it, and I Don't Know.
Costello: Are you the Editor of Audyssey?
Costello: You going to play the games too?
Costello: And you don't know the game's names?
Ron: Well I should.
Costello: Well then What's this game?
Costello: I mean the game's name.
Costello: The name of this game.
Costello: The first game.
Costello: The name of the first game.
Ron: What's this game.
Costello: I'm asking you What's this game.
Ron: That's the game's name.
Costello: That's What's this game's name?
Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.
Ron: That's it.
Costello: That's What's this game?
Costello: Look, you got a first game you want to play?
Costello: What's this game we're playing first?
Ron: That's right.
Costello: When you play the firstt game, What's this game's name?
Costello: All I'm trying to find out is the game's name.
Costello: What's the name of the game.
Ron: That's it.
Costello: What is this game's name?
Costello: All I'm trying to find out is Where is it
Ron: No, Where is it, is the second game.
Costello: I'm not asking What's the second.
Ron: What is the first game!
Costello: One game at a time!
Ron: Well don't change the names of the games around!
Costello: I Don't Know.
Ron: Take it easy, buddy that's the third game.
Costello: All I'm asking you, What's the first game?!
Ron: That's right.
Costello: Where is the first game?!
Ron: No, Where is the second!
Costello: I'm not asking you What's the second!
Ron: What's the first.
Costello: I don't know.
Ron: Oh, that's the third game. We're not talking about it. Now let's get
back to the first game.
Costello: Now how did I say the third game's name?
Ron: Well you mentioned its name.
Costello: If I mentioned the third game's name, What did I say is the
Ron: No, What is first.
Costello: What's the first game?
Ron: Yes, and the second is Where is it.
Costello: I don't know.
Ron: That is third.
Costello: There I go, back on the third game again! Will you stay on the
name of the third game and don't go off it?
Ron: Alright, what do you want to know?
Costello: Now what's the third game?!
Ron: Why do you insist on naming What as the third game?
Costello: I don't know!
Both: Third game!
Costello: OK, What's this game, Where is it, and I don't know, is the
third, and I'll Whoop-Your-Ass.
Costello: I said, I'llWhoop-Ass.
Ron: Oh, that's an ESP game!
Fireballs of the Gar-Bears Orcs
By Phil Vlasak and others.
This Dungeons and Dragons adventure is in the public Gamer's room
on Audio-Tips, Sunday night at nine o'clock Eastern time.
Audio-Tips is at:
Note: After three months using the D and D rules from the third edition, we
have decided to go back to using the second edition rules and finish the
campaign we had started using that system.
This story contains graphic descriptions of violence. It therefore may not
be suitable for younger readers.
List of characters:
Alustrial, An Elf fighter with Psionic powers.
She can cause great damage with her mind as with her sword.
Shem al Adeen, Holy Warrior of Varice, God of the Sun. Being a man of the
desert, he finds himself in strange surroundings.
Gabriella and NightShade, Elf sisters, Magic User and Thief. Strangers to
most of the group but old friends of Mace.
HeartString, Elf Priest of Liyyera, the goddess of love. His healing powers
are aimed to help broken hearts and bodies.
Kilak Fireforge, Dwarf fighter, ugly and bad tempered but deadly in a
Mace Knighthammer, Magic User/ fighter. To him, stealth and cunning are
traits foremost in dealing with others If he can get
past his temper.
Molbo, Patriarch of Perasin, God of War. His wisdom does not quite make up
for his lack of smarts, and he likes to fight, too.
SpringRight, Elf fighter. He is young but eager to try out battle techniques
learned from his tutors.
Taliesin, Half Elf, Bard. Prefers to fight with his tongue rather than his
Tor, Barbarian fighter, is strong but has the intelligence of a donkey.
Other Non-player characters on the quest:
Fimbert, friend of Taliesin, is a skilled huntsman.
FaSeer, A very elderly looking Human wizard. has powers he dare not tell
Vislor, a human priest of Mestoffa, the god of sciences and logic.
The group travels to a grove of trees by a stream near the Maluur Fortress
north of Odifferus
Taliesin uses his magical instrument to fly invisibility over the grove to
scout out the fortress. He notes a group of GarBear Orcs heading towards
the trees where the last battle with them took place.
The Dwarves call the Gar-Bear Orcs the Grazhnakh.
On his way back his spell fails and he crashes to the ground. Shem and
HeartString come out and the healer does a cure light on the bard.
The group get their spells back during the day and they are
all but the guard in the tent at midnight.
Gabriella, the guard, in the cloak of Elvenkind spots about ten GarBear
Orcs near the forest. She calls out this fact to those in the tent.
But as she does there is a great woosh as the entire forest near them bursts into flame.
Mace gets up and opens the flap which drops the tent to the slope.
A few get up and rush out while others are slow. The four animals rush out
of the tent but one horse breaks its leg on landing.
Mace will start to prepare a lightning strike
but first he calls out to Shem I'm going to try to take out the right group of the orks and maybe we should try to flank the others but another concern I have is where that fireball
that set fire to the trees came from
Shem is preparing his sling for a shot. "Yes, let's take
out those ones on the right, the others should be able to handle the other
Tor is planning on charging up the hill whirling his ax. He's going to
charge the first enemy he sees.
Mace: hopefully Tor is not going to the right these pesky barbarians have
a tendency to get in the way *grin*
Taliesin is going to exit the tent before it goes back up . When he gets
outside he plans on looking for cover and to head for it.
Molbo plans on charging up the hill with his ax in hand. He will go after
the first GarBear Orc he can.
mace will yell out to the running barbarians to go left
Tor looks puzzled at the command to go left so he will follow Molbo, Molbo
is a priest so he has some idea of directions or else he'd be loathed to perform
the rituals Perasin requires. :)
The pre-round involves Mace's bolt and any spell Gabriella or Vislor has
ready. They are the only ones who know what's coming and from where.
However, that will also be communicated during the pre-round to the others.
Mace, Pre-round, casts Lightning Bolt on the group on the right
Mace, Round 1, Moves to a flanking position
Alustrial and Kilak Preround, are scrambling up the gully.
Round 1 both of them will charge the right group if any survive. If not
then they'll charge the left as well.
In the gully, HeartString tells those remaining in the tent about his plan
to wait within the tent invisibly, and asks if any others intend to do the
same. Taliesin tells him he's going outside to look for some
cover and ducks out. SpringRite says "I don't intend to leave
Gabrielle anyone else out there unprotected," as he gathers up his bow,
quiver, and sword. NightShade volunteers to stand down in the gully
and help any wounded that might need to get into the tent.
FaSeer says nothing, but waits for the others to exit and then quietly follows them
out, leaving HeartString alone in the tent.
Up above, the forest is ablaze, and embers from the trees begin to drift up
into the air. Mace stands up and focuses his energies while Vislor
casts a quick Bless spell on the small group around him. Shem begins to
prepare his sling as the barbarians, Alustrial and Kilak charge up the
slope behind them. Gabriella watches the group on the left approach as
Mace launches his bolt at the group on the right, trying to hit as many as
The lightning bolt lashes out in a forking pattern, hitting three of the
five Gar-Bears Orcs approaching from the right. The left-hand fork nails one of them and sends him flying tail-over-teakettle, landing hard in
the grass beyond. He doesn't get up. The right-hand fork wings a pair of
Orcs standing one behind the other. Unfortunately, it seems to hit both
with a glancing blow ...even so, both seem to be quite heavily singed.
Immediately, one of the Orcs on the left points at Mace and shouts
Molbo, Tor, and Alustrial hit the top of the gully at a run.
Alustrial turns to her right and begins to head that way, while Mace yells
at Molbo and Tor to charge the group on the left. Kilak struggles to get up
the hill, but isn't quite to the top when round 1 begins...
No weapons were fired in the pre-round, since Shem did not have his sling
out. The voice definitely came from the left-hand group.
Mace squints to try to see what weapons the Orcs are carrying
He notices the Orc gesturing towards him, and he wonders if the Orc is
directing someone or something toward him.
All Mace can see is Weapons. That's really all he can tell at this distance,
because the fire isn't giving off much more than torch-level light.
The wand wielding Orc is pointing in Mace's general direction.
Both Alustrial and Kilak will continue to charge towards the right to clean
up the 4 there.
Tor just keeps running left, Shem drops his sling and charges the right,
flame blade in hand.
HeartString will close the flap when everyone is out, but listen with his
Elven hearing to what is being said. HeartString hears lots and lots of confusing shouting, overwhelmed by barbarian war cries.
mace is going to begin to cast web on the group he has all ready cast the
lightning on. At this very second, they have moved little from where they were when hit by the lightning bolt, as literally only about 2 seconds has passed.
Molbo plans on going in the general direction of where he heard the voice
and bash the first Orc he comes up against. He'd have liked to have taken
down the leader as that often turns the tide of battle, but he'll settle
for any of the Orcs on the left...unless there's a way for him to pick
out the leader.
well, if mace sees Molbo going in that direction mace would call out to him
and point out the one that pointed to him
the psychological finger pointing begins maybe mace pointing out the ork
that pointed him out will syke him out
HeartString will still pray for the Giant Eagle spirit on round one but
command it to circle above the wounded horse by about twenty yards and wait
for more instructions.
Alustrial and Kilak collectively will yell at mace as they run by "HOLD
YOUR SPELLS! LET us TAKE THEM!"
Molbo will not be able to hear or even see Mace. He's charging
straight and cannot look back at Mace. Mace hopes his gesturing does
indeed psyche out the Orc Leader.
Molbo and Tor rush past the group of four at the top of the gully,
waving battle axes. Molbo's ax begins to glow as he rushes the
Gar-Bears Orcs on the left. Mace briefly considers trying to point out the
one who'd pointed, but decides instead to begin casting Web on the Orcs to
the right. Alustrial rushes past Mace in the other direction, shouting for everyone to hold their spells. Gabriella backs up a few steps and melts into the background. Spring Rite charges up the hill, stringing his bow as he moves. Shem attaches his sling back to his
belt and draws forth his Flame Tongue. Taliesin looks around as his eyes adjust and notes that there are some scrub bushes off to his left and above, and begins to make his way in that direction. HeartString, noting that everyone is outside the tent, closes the flap, once again making the tent invisible as it begins to rise through the air. The
Gar-Bears Orcs on the right begin to move forward towards Shem and Alustrial, but the
ones on the right seem content to set themselves for the barbarians' charge.
Mace calls out to Alustrial that he'll lose his spell if he doesn't cast it quickly. Kilak reaches the top of the hill, panting slightly, and reiterates to Mace that he should "keep your damn magic out of my way, mage!" as he follows Alustrial. HeartString tries his best to listen to what's happening, but hears only various party members and Orcs
shouting at each other. NightShade looks around and begins to slowly make her way up the hill to the right.
Shem, who is near Alustrial will shout over his shoulder as he runs, "Alustrial, help the barbarians, Mace and I have this group in hand." Not wanting to have the spell wasted Alustrial will shout to Kilak "Let's help out the barbarians! Hearing this Kilak will shout "Damned mages!" He will then grudgingly follow his friend to the left. "I better get a damned kill. Can't have ye derned elves beating me."
Mace to Alustrial and Kilak aren't you guys going to the left???
"Both Alustrial and Kilak will continue to charge towards the right to clean up the 4 there."
SpringRite will try to get a shot off before the party members merge in with the orcs.
hopefully someone else will pick up on mace's gestures and yelling at Molbo maybe the elf and dwarf??
It looks like mace is still planning on casting the web spell he had Mace looks up and sees that the Orcs are within range, and completes his casting. A web springs up into place a few yards in front of Shem ...only to collapse upon itself and disappear without effect. Mace realizes that The web must have something to which it can anchor -- the
trees to Mace's left were available, but there was nothing to the right.] Mace curses under his breath for having forgotten how his spell works while Shem pulls up short and stands there for a moment, wondering what the hell just happened.
The Gar-Bears Orcs approaching from the right now reach Shem, and two of
Them (one of the wounded ones and another one) break off to engage him in
melee while the others continue to press forward. As they reach him, Shem is apparently still taken aback by what he's just seen, because the Orc not only turns his thrust aside, but knocks the blade right out of his hands.
Meanwhile, Spring Rite reaches the top of the gully and sees the confusion, with people running every which way, and decides to take aim at the group on the left so that he might avoid hitting his comrades. He yells out that if there are two groups, there should be 12 of them altogether, so there seem to be some unaccounted for. Mace yells toward
those on the left, trying to indicate which one pointed at him. He actually has no idea, but is hoping that this will provide a distraction.
Molbo and Tor reach the left group of Orcs. Their enemies attempt to attack them as they arrive, but their flailing axes easily divert the blows as they press in on their opponents. Taliesin reaches his cover, and can just make out Molbo, Tor, and the Orcs fighting about 25 yards away.
Both Alustrial and Kilak noticed Mace gesticulating, but they can't tell which one he's pointing at, and have no idea he's just doing it for show anyway :) .
Alustrial having to double back keeps her from being able to attack this round) .
Seeing her friend in trouble. Alustrial will peal off to attack the ones on Shem. Kilak will continue on to help out Molbo and Tor.
As Shem steps back and raises his holy symbol, Alustrial once again changes course toward the Orcs on the right. Inside the tent, HeartString begins to chant.
Alustrial stands back as what seems to be a ray of sunlight beams forth from Shem's holy symbol. He proclaims in a loud voice "Varice will not tolerate this attack! Go, or feel his wrath!" The Gar-Bears Orcs hesitate for a moment...
Meanwhile, Spring Rite picks out a single target that seems to be standing behind the other orcs on the left, and begins to finger through his quiver for just the right arrow.
The Orcs seem utterly unimpressed with Shem's display and continue their assault. On the other side, one of the Orcs takes a swing at Tor, but it clanks harmlessly off his armor. Kilak finally joins the battle on that side as well, and the Orc
nearest takes a swing that also hits nothing but armor.
The two remaining Gar-Bears Orcs on the right have now peeled off and have intercepted Alustrial. Since everyone is moving, no Attacks of
Opportunity are incurred.]
All hell breaks loose. Just after one of the Gar-Bears Orcs takes a swing at Molbo and misses, the orc that SpringRite has
targeted raises some kind of object, and a pinpoint of red light streaks across the sky directly toward Mace. When it hits, it erupts in a huge
yellow fireball.. that envelopes Mace, Alustrial and Vislor.
The blast hits, and Mace goes flying nearly straight up in the air, landing flat on his back. Alustrial is knocked sideways to the ground, and Vislor is sent rolling down the hill. Each of them has taken significant damage.
Meanwhile, HeartString hears this loud "FOREDOOM!!!!!" just as he completes his Summon Animal Spirit spell to call for a giant eagle. Since nobody is looking in his direction, they do not notice anything right away.
The two Orcs closing in on Alustrial are just outside the blast radius, but the rushing wave of heat still knocks them back slightly, causing them to lose their attacks this round.
SpringRite, seeing the pinpoint of light streaking from the Orc he is targeting, and hearing the damage it has caused, concentrates even harder
on his shot. He feels he can almost will his arrow to the target. Nothing is about to distract him.
Mace, on his back, opens his eyes, he survives, but is hurting badly. Hewas stunned momentarily, unable to get up, but is thankfull he is still alive.
Alustrial and the two Orcs attacking her are thrown off balance by the power of the fireball, , but are recovering.
Vislor winds up rolling about halfway down the gully, taking additional damage on the way down and losing the spell he was casting.
Meanwhile, one of the Orcs attacking Shem scores a hit on him, causing a moderate amount of damage.
Molbo swings his really really big ax, but his swing is hit by the blast of hot air and wildly misses the target.
Spring Rite's arrow flies, nailing the wand-wielder! As it does, a series of small explosions is set off at the point of impact and the Orc takes major damage!
Spring Rite can't help but pump his fist at scoring his first hit of the combat, but quickly gets back down to business preparing for the next round.
Tor swings his ax, but it too is wild. The Orc attacking Tor swings just as wildly.
Vislor picks himself up and brushes himself off and calls out to HeartString that Mace is seriously wounded and may be dead. NightShade is already at his side, checking him over.
The Orc attacking Kilak swings, but Kilak is just able to fend the blow off with his shield.
The second Orc attacking Shem hits nothing but armor.
The only between rounds attack this round is Molbo, who swings his ax once more, but he too can only watch his blow glance off his target's armor.
At the end of Round one, here is the lay out of the battlefield. In the center of it all is Mace, lying on the ground moaning. Five to seven yards northwest of him is Alustrial, facing off with two Gar-Bears Orcs.
Shem is ten to fourteen yards beyond Alustrial (about 20 yards northwest of Mace), and he is also squaring off against two orcs. Molbo, Tor, and Kilak are about 40 yards southwest of Mace, squaring off against four Orcs, with one additional one behind them holding the magic Fireball rod..
Taliesin has taken cover about 15 yards south of Mace. SpringRite is about 15
yards further south of him. HeartString is in the tent, about 20 yards
east of Mace. Vislor and NightShade are in the gully, about halfway down
(10 yards east of Mace, 10 yards west of the tent). The current whereabouts of Gabriella and FaSeer are unknown. There is a forest burning about 30 yards west of Mace, 5 yards north of Molbo and the others., and 5 yards south of Shem. There is now also a burning patch of grass around where Mace is laying.
The grass is very dry, as there has been no rain in this area for a couple of weeks. Also,
there is what looks like a giant eagle circling around where the tent should be.
Alustrial plans on launching fire energy bolts against the two facing her.
Kilak plans on swinging at the Orc nearest him.
HeartString after hearing the loud explosion and screams, will pray to Liyyera that he will not be late in helping his friends. He heard Vislor call that Mace was hurt so he will have the Staff of Curing out in one hand and will open the flap with the other.
He realizes that the tent will disappear if the flap is closed so he plans on keeping the flap open with a knife, then will try to use his ring to jump out towards Mace.
Taliesin hears spring rite telling us to make sure that we have identified all of the GB-orcs. To assist in this effort he will start to play his instrument to cast ferry fire.
Molbo will continue to bash at his GB Orc. To turn his attention away
from his enemy is un-heard-of in battle.
Shem cries out, "Varice, why do you forsake me?" He hopes the Orcs are slow, as he reaches for his scimitar. Once in his hand he will attack with no blinking this round.
Tor plans on swinging his ax at his opponent.
SpringRite is looking all around with an arrow at the ready.
Mace slowly rolls over and notices that the grass around him is starting to burn. He struggles to get to his feet. Shem can be heard shouting something to Varice, but it's difficult for anyone else to make out. He looks for an opening to retrieve his
FlameTongue. Taliesin, surveying the scene, begins to undo the strap on his Bandore.
The wand-wielding orc looks over whence the arrow that hit him came. He spots SpringRite and turns to face him. HeartString opens the tent flap, and can make out scenes of battle, but in the firelight it is difficult to make out individual combatants. The
tent begins to descend to the ground. NightShade asks Vislor if he's all right. He says he will be fine, and he begins to climb the hill once again. NightShade looks back at the
tent and, seeing it descend, waits for HeartString to emerge.
Alustrial, recovering quickly, shoots a hand out at the two closest Orcs, and a pair of Energy Missiles shoot forth. One of the Orcs is hit full-force and is sent flying backwards about 10 feet, landing flat on his back. He does not get up. The second one takes
a more glancing blow, but he is still staggered. That does not stop him from moving forward, however.
The tent flap closes again as HeartString goes back to find something to hold it open. NightShade rolls her eyes impatiently.
Mace, meanwhile, has gotten up to his hands and knees and is shaking out the cobwebs.
HeartString digs in the gear and finds a knife among the cooking supplies. He reopens the tent flap and pins it open with the knife.
The wand-wielding Orc, seeing Alustrial sending out energy missiles, growls something and moves around to the left of the fighting Orcs, attempting to shield himself from Spring Rite's arrows.
NightShade watches the tent descend, but before it completes its descent HeartString leaps out and lands right next to her. NightShade proceeds to direct HeartString to
where Mace was. Vislor completes his ascent of the hill and begins taking stock of the
HeartString thanks NightShade and begins climbing the hill towards Mace... The wand-wielding Orc, now under some cover, takes dead aim at Alustrial, and a thin streak of red light heads towards her. It hits with a mighty blast that engulfs Mace and one of the Orcs too. The area around Alustrial erupts in yellow fire. The Orc attacking Alustrial
is sent spinning through the air and lands a few yards behind Shem. He doesn't get up.
Alustrial is sent flying straight up in the air and lands in a heap on the ground, having taken a tremendous amount of damage, leaving her stunned.
Mace is just on the edge of the fireball, and he tries to roll out of the way of the onrushing wave of fire, and it barely catches him. However, he still takes a great deal of
damage, leaving him unconscious.
SpringRite is now more determined to hit the Orc holding the wand. Unless the
shot is extremely dangerous to his party, he will take the chance since the
alternative of the Orc using the wand again probably outweighs the risk. He just spends the time, if needed, to ensure a good shot.
Shem hears the explosion behind him and notices that the Orcs in front of him are distracted by it, giving him an opening to snatch his Flame Tongue from the ground and re ignite it. HeartString and Nightshade are forced back a couple steps by the wave of
heat, and then they see Mace's blistered body land right at the lip of the
gully. HeartString immediately dashes forward to attempt to revive him.
HeartString would at the same time command the Eagle to attack the Orc who caused the explosion, assuming the eagle saw the streak of light.
Mace would like to go back to the bed of the sturdy female odiferan and not to have gotten up in time to leave with the party to end up all crispy in a
Shem thinks, Man I want that wand!
If Kilak noticed Alustrial being hit, you would hear a roar of rage "You filthy pig face Grazhnakh! How dare you kill my friend! Feel the bite of my ax!"
If anything this fireball was a touch further away from Molbo and company.
HeartString knows Since the staff of curing is major healing magic, Mace would get the full amount of healing.
Spring Rite is still sighting down the shaft of his arrow, but his fingers pulling back on his bow string are starting to get a little tired.
HeartString thanks Liyyera that he stopped to Ask NightShade where to aim his eagle for he too would have been burnt to a crisp. He reminds the eagle that it should dive on its prey from the side so it will not get hit by mean old nasty sticks.
HeartString, after seeing the carnage and seeing two people down, concentrates for a moment before continuing his climb up the hill. The strains of a Bandore being played echo from somewhere off to the south as Taliesin begins playing. Tor takes a mighty swing with his battle ax, but he again misses .
Kilak yells back "What the hell was that?" NightShade yells back that Mace and Alustrial are both down, although her voice doesn't carry quite
like the Dwarf's. SpringRite, eager to hit this wand-wielding menace,
tries to shoot over the group of Orcs between him and his target, but his shot falls short and to the left, falling harmlessly among the other Orcs.
SpringRite curses his luck and reaches back for another arrow.
HeartString glances upwards to watch, as his Eagle swoops down towards the wand-wielder
Vislor moves past Taliesin as he plays, telling him he's going to try and get around behind the wand-wielder. Just then, Taliesin completes
his melody, and suddenly the five Gar-Bears Orcs to the south which is to the left) are outlined with a glowing blue aura.
At almost that same moment, a pair of Magic Missiles come streaking through the sky from the far northern side of the battle, and one of the Orcs facing Shem -- the one not
scorched -- crumples to the ground and doesn't get up. The other Orc facing Shem brings his mace down and connects with Shem's head causing him to stagger under the blow.
One of the Orcs attacking Molbo swings his mace and scores a hit on the barbarian's head causing a great deal of damage and a ringing in his ears.
The Orc attacking Kilak swings his morning star, but the blow is turned aside by Kilak's armor.
Kilak yells out "Alustrial! Damn you all to Baator!" as he swings his ax, but his swing is turned aside by the Grazhnakh's thick hide. HeartString completes his climb and kneels down over Mace, staff in hand.
Molbo swings his own mighty ax, and finally scores a hit with it, dealing great damage to one of the Gar-Bears Orcs.
Vislor disappears out of the range of the firelight, moving off to the south.
HeartString touches his Staff of Curing to Mace, who glows silver and instantly the blisters begin to fade, and Mace's wounds are healed.
The second Orc attacking Molbo swings his morning star, but the blow bounces off Molbo's horned helmet.
The Orc attacking Tor swings his mace wildly nearly putting himself off-balance.
Spring Rite fires a second arrow into the fray, but this time it sails high and into the burning trees. Spring Rite grumbles and looks around for a better vantage point from which to shoot.
Shem, finally seeing an opening, swings his mighty flaming sword around, and it bites deeply into the flesh of the last remaining Orc standing on the north side. The creature is mightily staggered, but does not go down.
Kilak takes another mighty cut with his ax, and swings wildly, hitting nothing.
Mace's eyes open slowly, and he complains about being awakened from dreaming about Huge and Hardy Odiferan women...and how they really give him a splitting headache.
Shem thinking he's finally got this enemy in hand plans on blinking and swinging again.
Tor's still not appreciably hit. He's happy enough going toe-to-toe with this enemy who is actually a match for him. Mace is now awake, and he is going to try to get up and go to the lip of the hill into some cover
HeartString notes Mace trying to get up , spins towards where Alustrial is. He plans to use his ring of jumping to land close to her and will try to
use his staff of curing, hoping she is just knocked out.
How things look after round 2.
The center of the battlefield is now, essentially, a big brush fire
following two fireballs and embers floating over from the grove of trees. The fire is currently about 30 feet in diameter and is spreading due to the dry grass. In the middle of that brush fire are the bodies of Alustrial and two dead Orcs.
The stand of trees also continues to burn. The eastern edge of that fire is about 15 yards from the western edge of the brush fire, which means it won't be long before the two combine and cut the two sides of the battle off from each other. Shem, being from an arid climate, would immediately recognize this.
North of the fire, Shem is still in melee with one last Orc. Gabriella is somewhere off farther to the north of them.
South of the fire, Molbo, Tor and Kilak are still battling with the other group of Orcs. Vislor has gone off further to the south for some unknown purpose.
East of the fire, Mace is still lying on his back, with HeartString standing over him. They are VERY close to the brush fire and may be in danger of being caught up in it shortly, as the wind is blowing it in that direction.
SpringRite is about fifteen yards south of them, but is moving so that he might get a clearer shot at the orc with the wand. Fifteen yards further south, Taliesin has just finished a song from his cover. NightShade is still down in the gully, waiting to assist
with any dead/wounded that get brought down. She is just far enough back so that she can see over the lip, and is seriously considering moving further away.
The wind is fairly light (maybe 5 MPH with gusts to 10 MPH), blowing from west to east.
HeartString plans to head toward Alustrial and use his staff of curing on her. Since he is 20 yards from her and a line of fire is between them, he will use his ring of jumping to get over the flames.
Taliesin is in the only cover between the burning grove and the stream. He plans to crawl up 15 yards and use his magic missile spells.
Mace sits up and starts to shake out some cobwebs. The fire is within 2 feet of him.
He slowly gits up and goes away from the fire. NightShade calls to HeartString, "Do you need any assistance?" He replies, "No, I'm going over to Alustrial now.
NightShade: OK, then, you OK Mace?" Mace: "Ooh, ow!I've been better."
NightShade: "Ah, whatever." Aright, if no one else is hurt I'm coming up.
She starts moving towards SpringRight. He sees NightShade coming and says, Where's Gabriella? NightShade: She went north.
SpringRight: Is she OK? NightShade: Far as I know. She just shot one of them Orcs with a magic missile, so I think she's fine.
SpringRight smiles and says: Good stuff! HeartString looks towards Mace to make sure he is properly taken care of, then turns back and jumps towards Alustrial, over the fire coming his way.
Shem swings his flame blade and it burns clean through the orc's chest, slicing it in two , killing it instantly. The goastly looking eagle comes swooping out of the sky, in the general direction of the Orcs.
but is spotted by the wand holder who ducks out of the way.
Vislor casts a hold person spell on the wand holder that has no effect. Kilak swings his battle ax and hits the Orc, creating massive damage. Kilak: Ahg, you damned pig face! Go down! Shem after killing the Orc blinks forward and to the left.
HeartString lands safely and uses the staff of curing on Alustrial. Her body glows silver and like Mace the burnt flesh disappears and her wounds
heal. Taliesin now in position can pick out the wand holder and casts magic
missiles. Two small globes of fire appear near the Orc's head causing a good amount of
damage. The wand holder lets out a loud roar.
Taliesin still crouching in the tall grass,starts to head back away from his attack location.
Kilak gets hit for a fair amount of damage He shrugs that off and says, Is that the best you can do, you stupid pig face?
Molbo swings his ax and finally sinks it deep into the chest of the Orc.
That orc is hurting very badly. Molbo: You need to be dead! Hurting is not good enough!
The wand holder spots Mace getting up and heading towards SpringRight. He aims his rod and a thin beam of red light streaks out and explodes directly on Mace.
Mace is blown right off his feet and his burning body flies into the gully. His dead body splashes into the waterand sinks as it is still steaming.
SpringRight is also inside the fiery yellow blast and gets knocked off his feet by the force that causes a tremendous amount of damage to him. The arrow he was about to shoot explodes incinerating his long bow in his hands. With only a little strength left SpringRight decides to lay low for a bit and looks around for HeartString and a little healing.
The Orc attacking Tor has his mace clink off armor. Tor swings and does a good deal of damage to the Orc that has not been hit. The Orc facing Molbo swings at him and misses badly.
Alustrial slowly gets up but can't spot the one with the wand. Molbo swings and also misses.
On the north Shem is alone cut off by fire. South is the barbarians and dwarf fighting four Orcs. HeartString kneeling next to Alustrial realizes that he would be killed
if hit by those fireballs and thinks the best place to be is near the Orcs since the wand carrier would not want to blow up the rest of his party. He plans to jump the 20 yards towards the barbarians.
NightShade heads towards the bush along the ridge and reaches it Alustrial draws her sword and heads towards the barbarians. Shem runs wide around the battle.
Taliesin heads back to his attack position planning on using more magic missiles.
He stands up spots the wand holder and shoots. Two red flames explode on the Orc's chest blasting it open, killing him, and causing the fireball wand to fly out of his hand.
One of the Orcs fighting Molbo backs off attempting to pick up the wand. Molbo swings at him but misses. Taliesin seeing the wand wielder go down slinks off crouching low.
SpringRight gets back to NightShade ans says, I took a little damage, and my
bow is shot, but I still got some of these arrows the Elves gave us. Can I
borrow your bow? NightShade: Oah, ah oh, um, OK, ok.Here, here.
SpringRight: I'll make good use of it! He pulls out one of the special arrows.
NightShade: Make sure you bring it back in good condition.
SpringRight: With my luck, I can't guarantee that. I certainly will try.
SpringRight looks at NightShade: Do you have any healing potions?
HeartString jumps towards the barbarians not knowing that the wand wielder
is down. Something big lands behind Tor,
He is distracted and spins around to see what happened.
He starts to swing at HeartString but stops his attack and says, My little
huggy friend! The Orc swings at Tor's back cutting a big gash in his armor.
Tor lets out a roar and spins back saying Bad! HeartString seeing Tor being hit plans to heal him. saying I am here to help you.
Alustrial gets to the Orc next to Molbo, swings and misses. Molbo swings at the same Orc, hits and cuts it in two.
The other Orc picks up the wand and backs away from the battle. The eagle swoops down and attacks the wand holder and its talons slice
through the Orc's shoulder.
The Orc holding the wand says surrender, or I'll blow us all up!
Kilak: You pig face, dare to threaten us!
The Orc facing Kilak swings at him clanging off his armor.
The Orc attacking Tor hits again for a good deal of damage.
Tor swings and takes a great gouge out of the grass.
Kilak spins and attacks but misses badly.
SpringRight fires an arrow that hits the new wand wielder in the chest and
instantly, the entire area around the Orc goes dark.
The Orc screams, more sorcery! and unleashes a fireball charge right into the ground.
A tremendous yellow fireball bursts into being, covering all in a twenty yard radius.
It blows the orc up into small pieces and hits everyone in the area.
All three other orcs die. SpringRight, seeing what his darkness arrow caused, says to NightShade, I don't think that was such a good idea.
After the fireball disapates, the remaining party members see that all are
down in the fireball's radius. Tor is, dead.
HeartString is, dead. Kilak is badly burnt by the explosion but is ok.
Alustrial is unconscious Molbo is almost unconscious.
He thinks his god has enlightened him for a moment. Shem is only badly singed being farther from the center of the fireball. He was knocked off his feet, and gets up looks around and says what happened? SpringRight says We're on a roll! Lets attack the fortress! Kilak yells, You damned pig faces! Decide to suicide!
Shem steps forward and looks down at the body of the wand holder.
he picks up the blackened but intact wand of Fireballs.
Shem says, One little piece of wood causes all this devastation! Molbo: It is hatred that causes such things! Put that away, it must not be used again! I must tend to the wounded.
Vislor comes walking from behind Shem. Oh, sweet Mistaffa! Why did it have to come to that! Gabriella runs over to SpringRight to make sure he was OK in a most physical
manner. NightShade rolls her eyes at her sister's display.
Taliesin gets up and walks over to the others. Shem will glance at the fire the gully and especially the tent looking at the extent of damage.
he notices that The tent is in good condition. It looks like Heartstring's staff of curing is burnt to a crisp. Molbo's ax is fine.
Kilak's ax is OK. Shem's flame tongue is ok.
Tor's ax survives but the handle is charcoal. It was Molbo's other ax.
HeartString's beaker and ring survives. Shem's ring is OK but his tithing bag is burnt up. It was used to teleport excess gold to his temple.
Alustrial's frost brand survives. Kilak's armor survives, but his shield doesn't.
All the mind blocking helms survive but Maces. which leaves 6.
Mace's cloak of protection is gone. Mace's magic bastard sword survives.
His dagger does too but it is specially made, not not magic.
Molbo only has 3 cure lights and 5 cure moderate spells.
He looks towards the fighters and thinks if you look bad you get a moderate.
Molbo does a cure moderate on SpringRight to heal his wounds. SpringRight will collect his arrows and he finds one that landed
in the battlefield had exploded with the fireball. FaSeer appears from some ware behind Shem. Shem looks at him and says Thank you so much for all your help brother.
FaSeer Unfortunately, the powers that I could have used against these creatures would have affected those fighting them as well. I do not have the power to be so selective.
about whom I can reshape reality for. Shem shakes his head and walks off to check on Mace. Taliesin examines the Orcs for anything that can be used.
Kilak looks to Molbo and yells, Heal my friend, Alustrial, you stupid human!
Molbo looks at the female elf and says Yes she does need healing, and I
have seen her do special healing things. Molbo kneels down and does a cure moderate on Alustrial and she opens her eyes. Alustrial wakes up and smiles at her healer and says, Oh Molbo! Thank you. Man that hurt!
she imediatly does a cure on herself. SpringRight heads for the group looking back to see if the two sisters are following him.
Smoke and the smell of burnt flesh still lingers over the battlefield.
NightShade crouches down over the blackened body of Mace. Ah Mace, why didn't you just stay in the tent! Shem coming over says He fought valiantly though.
I wish our original plan had been more fruitful. she nods he has always been on the foolish side. still, he was a good friend.
Shem sighs heavily a little too quick to get into this combat I think. NightShade says If it were me, but she stops and shakes her head. Shem asks, do you know if he had anything that would help us in the future? Well, I'd given him some packets of Chalk's dust.
Knowing him, he probably had a couple of other useful items. Strangely for a mage I can't remember him using a magical item. Taliesin finds nothing on the Orcs but their weapons. He does find on HeartString, a Ring of Jumping and the Beaker of Plentiful
Potions, and the chard remains of the burnt up Staff of Curing He knows that NightShade still has HeartString's Cloak of Elvenkind. They wrap the bodies of HeartString, Tor and Mace.
Molbo finally does a cure on himself to heal his wounds. He slumps down into a sitting position. After a while, Molbo gets up and walks over to FaSeer
We are not now strong enough to fight the evil one eyed thing. I think we will need to go back to Odifferus. and I will need to bring stronger people to fight.
But we will get the Crock of Cheese! My flimsy friends must rest.
Shem collapses into a squat. I agree, I don't see how we can accomplish this task
FaSeer nods and says I am afraid that in some ways your own fool heartiness was the cause. I heard NightShade speak that Mace should not have left the tent.
I believe that would have been a wiser course. However, I know that if this had not happened, we would have been strong enough to face the Maluur.
I can bring you to a place where your friends can be returned to you. I am sure that my influence with them will be quite useful.
in convincing people to bring them back. Alustrial With great gratitude that you offer this. but given if we get our friends back, we have lost much in this battle.
Molbo, and such things cost a lot of money. I could not ask such a great favor.
But we must go back and if this is the only way I must accept. FaSeer the choice is yours. I will bring you to a place of your choosing.
If you wish to continue this mission you are welcome. If not I will find others.
Alustrial If we can get our friends back we can try.
we have to recover much to again attack these Maluur.
FaSeer I do not desire to force you into anything.
Your homeland Alustrial you know the danger to it.
and you too Molbo. Perhaps it is best if we slept.
FaSeer: I will watch the rest of this night. If anything should come I will assure that you are not disturbed. when the morning comes we will discuss it further.
Alustrial I am in it for the long run. but I can not speak for everyone.
Kilak , You darned Elves, getting into it again! I am in it as well!
But I better get another shield! FaSeer smiles slightly. Indeed. This battle is important for all in this region of the world.
Once I make that clear and you are the ones chosen to fight this battle,
other things will come as they did from the Elves. But the choice in the end is yours.
Molbo the fire of my god Perasin burns in me still! I will come back and
fight this evil! FaSeer I knew that you would do so Molbo.
You are nothing if not a warrior. Shem has been looking down at his hands for some time. He will take out the wand of fireballs and start playing it around his fingers.
He says quietly, I want to go on in the morning.
Alustrial that wand is powerful but is it enough?
Shem, Maybe not but Varice has turned away from me.
In this last battle several things happened that made me realize that I am,
I am outside of his favor for some reason.
I will continue on and do what I can to defeat this evil.
and to return his eyes back to me.
Taliesin You know we had some losses but our enemy had even greater ones
tonight. That wand is a very powerful tool that can be used against the
Maluur. Shem continues to flip it through his fingers and nods.
This wand is a great bequest. It is a very powerful item that can be used to
severely damage their defenses. Alustrial we have lost much and have little healing power left. I am spent and Molbo is spent and we have lost our dear friends Tor, HeartString and Mace.
I do not know how we can recover all the damage we took by tomorrow.
Molbo Yes, while I do think good of your bravery, Shem, did not FaSeer say some things were done too quickly. Would your deity not want the battle to be finished with them just being damaged and not killed?
It would not be so good for you. My god Perasin would be not happy if I did not defeat my enemy. We can come back stronger.
Alustrial we can get reinforced and come back as one again.
Shem, If we go and come back the Maluur will have time to make the fortress
defenses much better. They are weakened now. and they will be stronger in a few days.
So if we are ever to strike, we must strike now. Kilak Oh you stupid human Oh, you make the worst of dwarves look good! Most of us are on or last legs!
Well, like I said I am in it for the long run so I will be back to kill the rest of those pig faces. Shem, I do not have much hope that we will survive so I do not ask you to
come with me. But I do go and I take what is the strongest item from the
enemy's treasury with me.
Alustrial let us sleep and have Molbo get spells back to heal us. At
least give us eight hours to recover.
NightShade Molbo should use all his spells so he can pray for more in the
morning. Molbo asks the five worst injured to come over for his cure light spells.
SpringRite, Shem, Kilak, and Vislor get some of their wounds healed. Then
Molbo uses the last healing spell on himself.
Alustrial uses her powers to heal her horse and the group fish the
tent out from the stream. They dry it off and climb inside then close the flap.
for resting through the night, all injured regain some health back.
During his watch, FaSeer inspects the battlefield and finds the rod of curing intact near where Alustrial was hit. It seems that unknown to the group, HeartString with his wisdom,knew the staff of curing would not help further in the battle as its two daily
charges of healing had been used, and was too valuable to hold on to, so he dropped it after curing Alustrial, then he pulled out his normal staff which was burnt up in the explosion and was assumed to be the magic staff.
Tor is buried with his armor but Molbo takes his magic ax head back from
him. The group discuss leaving a member to spy on the fortress, to find out if
the Maluur replenish the lost guards, but decide it could be done by Taliesin in his flying invisible state after returning to the area. Taliesin asks FaSeer if he could take the potion of thinness and then fly with him to get the group closer to the fortress.
FaSeer says Few know that the potion would not work on him as he is not affected by any magic except from his type. that is why the Maluur cannot
read his mind and he cannot read theirs.
There is concern that anyone left to spy could be spotted and their minds read for details of the party's attack strategy and the strengths and weaknesses of
the group. Taliesin asks is there a non being means to spy on the fortress for the
next 3 days like HeartString's eagle summoned by the Spirit Animal spell?
Most of the group decline to go on to the fortress except for Molbo and Shem
and even Molbo after hearing the pros and cons says it would not be wise to
go in on a suicide mission with three of our group dead.
FaSeer recommends that the group transport to
the town of signal, far from the control of the Maluur
which is on another plane.
he says it will take about 3 days to return HeartString and mace to health
and come back to this area.
FaSeer says in the town there may be fighters we could hire to join us to
Molbo says his king may grant them some money but knows they are not
wealthy. Molbo pleads with Shem to go with the rest of the group so that he will be
more able to redeem himself with his god if he is fighting with the group
battling together rather than him going in alone.
Taliesin and the elf sisters do not want to go in right away but wait for
the two dead to be brought back. Vislor would go in if the rest do
Molbo prays for new healing spells in the morning and looks at the wounded
party members to determine who to help.
News from game developers
*taken off the website of Adora
It is with unimaginable sorrow that I am forced to announce that, until further notice, Adora Entertainment is on hiatus. This is not
the wish nor the doing of Josh de Lioncourt, but rather the decision of Adora's owner, Ai-Vy Nguyen. She can be contacted at
What she decides to do with the company from here on out is her responsibility solely, and Josh is no longer associated with the company in anyway shape
or form, per Miss Nguyen's request. If anything changes, we will update this page immediately.
Update from BSC Games
Email: [email protected]
This will be just a short update. There is not a lot new over at BSC Games. We are continuing to develop castle quest, our online multiplay RPG, found at
We lost several key members on the Void project so are postponing it, not canceling it, until we can fill the shoes of the team members who unfortunately, had to move on. Other aspects of life pulled them out of the project and left us mid stream. While we are not extremely excited about that, however, we are still keeping the Void around for development whenever we can get back to it.
BSC Games had been interviewed by several large media sources over the past few months. You can find links to the articles on www.BscGames.com under the what's new section. Many have found them interesting.
In other things, we have been actively participating in the AG developer's community over at www.agdev.org. It is a meeting place for all accessible game developers and is a great start to something that promises to be a central point for all accessible game development and we strongly support it.
For those new to BSC Games, and who might not know what sorts of games we create, feel free to stop by the site and check out some games. We are well known for Troopanum 2.0, Pipe2 Blast Chamber and Hunter. We offer educational games as well as several free games. We offer a newsletter you can sign up for on our website and also a game talk mailing list for folks to talk about the games, compete, and do some bragging about scores grin.
News from FantasyStorm
I have come to the decision, because selling my games is been a little more
trouble than I ever thought, all my games, including The Savage Gamut, will
now be free.
I enjoy programming games but I just don't want to, and it doesn't feel
right, selling my games.
My basketball game is still in the works. My recent move put me back about
a month and now I need to recover the energy to finish it. Please don't ask
me when it will be ready for download. I don't know and can't even guess.
I had hoped to have it completed by September, but life kind of got in the
Just because my games will now be free, this does not mean that the quality
will suffer. I am too much of a perfectionist to allow that to happen.
I hope to have my site updated by the time you read this.
Thanks, and keep on gaming.
Formerly the MaynFrame
New email: [email protected]
Web Site: www.fantasystorm.net
I have put a new version of Life up on my web site.
File name winlife2.exe File size 234k bytes
The file can be found at the bottom of the free windows text to speech games page.
In version 2 I fixed the voices and made the volumes adjustable.
I also included a new version of the game menu program.
It now has adjustable speech.
As Thomas said, one of the major things in Monopoly version 5 will be all of the custom boards that Phil and others have sent to me. I did add hyper keys
for choosing your token and game board. As well as a clock. I am now working on fixes for some cheats that people have found in the game. So that will
be about it for changes in version 5.
Echo: Only thing that cheats some out of the last word.
Since things are too quiet at LWorks, I'd thought I'd post a news
update. This portion isn't on the site, but I'm writing this here
anyways. I recently graduated from tradeSchool so we can all cheer
about that. Unfortunately, it will explain the post below.
I'm saddened to announce that Super Liam II has been put on an
indefinite hault. I haven't had the time to invest in such a large
project due to work commitments. However, there are a few other smaller
games on the horizon that I'm sure you all will enjoy. the first of
which is bar games. More information should be released in about two
weeks time. Please do not e-mail me with questions about the game. I
know everyone is super anxious, but I won't be releasing any information
until the next news post.
With so many good things happening here at Malinche, I just couldn't wait until September to share the good news. I know we're all about the business of enjoying the last days of summer so I'll keep this brief.
Malinche Games Now Available on Many New Cell Phones
Anyone with a Symbian phone running with UIQ can play our games on their cell phones right now.
The following models are confirmed by the Malinche Technology Department to be fully
compatible with our games:
Motorola: M1000, A1000,A920, A925
SonyEricsson: P910, P900, P800.
Just download the Frotz UIQ interpreter at our free software page and install it on
your cell phone. Then load your favorite Malinche games and you're good to go.
Our free software page is located at
Malinche Deploys a Brand New Digital Delivery System
With the problems our customers have been experiencing in downloading their digital
delivery games from Malinche, I've had enough. Effective today, an entirely new delivery system is now fully operational and running now.
I'm sure all of us will rejoice! Instead of being emailed a cryptic, often useless
code then being told your account was "suspended" for suspicious activity (we always
hated that message!), Malinche customers will now be greeted with a web-based download option immediately after purchase. This beautiful new system runs flawlessly with all of our games making the digital delivery process absolutely smooth. Your shopping experience with Malinche has been enhanced greatly.
The new web-based download screen appears immediately after the Pay Pal transaction is
completed and offers customers a choice of downloading a Windows installer version
of their game or the story file only which is then loaded with one of the free
interpreters. I have to say this again because I am so happy... no more emails, no
more messy codes, no more hassles. Just click, pay and download. Glorious!
Go buy a game right now and see for yourself...
A Media Heavyweight Reviews The First Mile
And Meryl Evans loves it. Meryl is a celebrated writer known in the circles of
publishing and television and she has only glowing things to say about Malinche's
latest horror fiction release.
Read the entire review at:
Enjoy the rest of summer!
Howard A. Sherman
Ian Humphreys' Spoonbill Software, Blind-gamers series has just released a
new free game, BG Scorpion Solitaire
I find it is the easiest to play Solitaire game with new hot keys.
All the games in the Blind-gamers series are self-voicing, not requiring the
use of your screen reader. They all use the Microsoft SAPI (Speech
Programming Interface) TTS (Text-To-Speech) engine for the speech component,
and for the sound effects, they use Microsoft's DirectX.
While you can't download the game you can ask Ian for it, and he will attach
it to an email message.
For more information, go to,
Send your request for BG Scorpion Solitaire 1.0 to Ian Humphreys, together
with your full name and country of residence at:
For example: My name is Karen Black from Ontario, Canada, please send
BG Scorpion Solitaire 1.0
Note it is only 658 Kilobytes.
A new version of Super football is available for download now. There are some modifications and new features in this version. These modifications are based
on your suggestions. Thanks to all gamers who sent suggestions to us.
If you already have a registered version of Super football you can update your copy. It will be free for you.
If you don't have a registered version you can download it from
you can install and register this game by using the temporary product key and play
Super football during the trial period without any restrictions.
Fearless Flin Developer Diary: Part V
By Michael Feir
This has been a very long slow and tumultuous summer during which work on
Fearless Flin has taken a back seat. Ontario was hit by a long heat wave
that made being creative or showing much discipline to work for long
stretches very challenging for me. Because of all the heat, we spent most of
the Summer indoors as did a lot of people we hoped to get out with.
Thankfully, we managed to get some air conditioning about half-way through
the Summer which has helped a great deal. In fact, that's probably the only
reason why I have any progress to report at all. An anti-spyware crusade
took up a bunch of time as well as a few other things of a more personal
Having said that, I've learned a lot this Summer about everything from
security to good game design to basic sound editing. I do know I'll
ultimately be farther ahead for that learning and I certainly managed to be
helpful enough to people that I don't look on the past three months as
wasted ones. Game creation is very important to me in the long term. I have
absolute confidence that I can create a game compelling enough to keep
people having fun as well as deep enough to possibly have a meaningful
impact. However, I also have a continuing need to be of more immediate
assistance to people. I've thankfully found myself in a position to have
done a good deal of that this Summer.
A major decision I made regarding Fearless Flin is in the sound editing
software department. Back when I originally approached deciding which sound
editor to get, I chose Soundforge since many people indicated that it was
more professional and could do more than Goldwave. On my system at least, it
seems that Soundforge and I just couldn't coexist peacefully and
productively even with Jim Snowbarger's Jaws scripts for it. I swallowed my
pride, gave up and bought Goldwave. I'm still getting my feet wet but things
seem to be much easier and I believe Goldwave will have all the features an
ammature like myself will need. I know I'm in for a chorus of "I told you
so" as many people in the gaming community predicted that I'd do better
with Goldwave. Well, this time at least, I was wrong and they were right.
The collection of sound effects to be used in Fearless Flin has grown
substantially as I have found over a hundred more sounds in the SFX kit
which has something like twenty thousand. I still have a long way to go
before the sound library for the game is complete. However, the design
document is still my top priority. I figure I've made around a hundred
changes over the past three months with around twenty or thirty of those
being major ones. Companions need the most work and I haven't made any
progress with writing the game's dialog yet. Before I do much of that, I
need to settle on exactly what companions can do. I'm now fairly satisfied
with most other aspects of the game although I need to complete the list of
normal and special items. Each companion also needs a small catalog of
special ways they can be useful and/or some mini-quests for the player to
help them complete which fit the game's context. Once I've balanced out all
that, I'll be in a good position to create a substantial amount of the game's
sound effects and dialog. Once that's done, I'll finally start programming
with the GMA engine. Nobody's certain when the next blindness-related
Ocusource expo is going to be. When that gets closer, efforts to properly
plan and run the virtual accessible games convention will doubtless sweep me
up into high gear. I think an event like that will give this whole small
industry a much-needed awareness boost. I hope to have more progress to
report to you in the next issue of Audyssey now that things have cooled down
and settled somewhat.
Game Announcements and Reviews:
Below are some of the new games available. Though an old treasure or
two may be discussed too. It's noteworthy that in some cases it's only
an announcement of a game, taken from the email list, and may not be a
full review, or an official notice from the developer. Reviews of games will not appear in any particular order. The only exception to this will be
when we have more than one review for a game. In this case, reviews will be placed consecutively so that it is easier to compare them.
Fleets of anarchy
An on line game
Recently, I found a very cool site called "Fleets of Anarchy".
This site is an internet text-based game in which you are the commander
of a ship.
On the game, my user ID is 8398, or Azriel, if you prefer, but that's
At any rate, I just wanted to let you know about this site, as it's
pretty darn cool.
Here's the "official" storyline, copied directly from the site:
"In the year, 2071, terrorism was at an all time high! An enormous
attack on all major cities in the world, led by an unknown
bio-terrorist group set the world in motion for destruction beyond anyone's comprehension. No one knew that in less than 24 hours all twenty three billion people on
Earth were going to die. What the terrorists thought would be a blow to all forms of
major government, ended up destroying Earth and all forms of life that
Fortunately, not everybody was on Earth that day, for it was the time
Of personal space travel. All humans that were traveling that day were
saved from the attack.
A civilized society was formed, but greed had taken over the leaders of
the new world. Forming large fleets of ships, these leaders are
fighting and destroying each other in hopes to become the richest and most powerful. The
civilians call the ships in this great race to power, the Fleets of
Anarchy. You Are the pilot of one of these ships. You must decide whether to join a
Fleet and help conquer all others or rise as leader of your own fleet and
rule the universe."
To join, please use the following link by clicking on it or copying it
and pasting it into your address bar.
I found the Houghton Mifflin Company flash based crossword puzzle game site
It has instructions below on how to play the game with JFW or WinEyes.
You need MacroMedia flash installed to play.
Tackle Reading: Crossword Puzzle
How to Play: You can work on this puzzle using a screenreading
program like JAWS or WindowEyes, or by using the Narrator
program that comes with Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
If you are using JAWS, you can move to a clue or a game control
button by using the UP and DOWN arrows. Each
clue has an EDIT box where you will type your answer. To type your
answer, move to the EDIT box for a clue and press the ENTER key
(this will put the screenreader into Forms Mode). Then type
your answer. If you type the wrong letter, the computer
will let you know with a buzzing sound. You can hit BACKSPACE to retype
the letter, or continue typing to finish the word.
When you finish a word in the puzzle correctly, a chime will sound
to let you know you got it right.
After you finish a word, press the TAB key to move to the Edit
box for the next clue,
or press NUM PAD PLUS to exit Forms Mode and
move to a clue or a game control button by using the UP and DOWN arrows.
If you are using WindowEyes, you must have M S EH EH
mode ON in order to hear the labels in the game.
Press CTRL PLUS SHIFT PLUS A one or more times until the
screenreader says, M S EH EH mode ON. You can
move to a clue or a game control button by using either the UP and DOWN arrows,
or the TAB key and Shift+TAB. Each clue in the puzzle is an EDIT
BOX where you will type your answer. To type your answer,
move to a clue and press the ENTER key (this will turn M S EH EH
mode OFF). Then type your answer. If you type the wrong
letter, the computer will let you know with a buzzing sound.
You can hit BACKSPACE to retype the letter, or continue typing
to finish the word.
When you finish a word in the puzzle correctly, a chime will sound
to let you know you got it right.
After you finish a word, press CTRL PLUS SHIFT PLUS A to
turn M S EH EH mode ON again. WindowEyes will update
the contents of the page so you can move through the clues again.
ESP Pinball Xtreme
Developed by Adora Entertainment and James North of Alchemy Game Studios
Available commercially for $39.95 US from:
Self-voicing and completely accessible without sighted assistance
Reviewed by Michael Feir
At last, the long wait has ended this Summer. The sequel to the incredibly
successful first attempt at making Pinball accessible to blind people has
emerged. Beginning its life as an ESP Softworks title under James R. North's
direction, it was later transferred to Josh de Lioncourt who now sells
Pinball Xtreme. The finished product is a very polished and intuitive game
which succeeds admirably and improves on the previous attempt. The controls
are simple but the tables are challenging enough to keep players coming back
for another round.
Menus in Pinball Xtreme are handled in standard fashion with arrow keys and
the enter key to select your option. The whole game including menus is
self-voicing so you won't need your screen-reader. The first letter of an
option will take you right to it. Toggle options are indicated with a unique
sound followed by the current status being announced. The left control key
silences speech if you've heard it too many times before. Each table should
be looked at on its own. The left and right shift keys will most likely
activate left and right flippers. The space bar may be used to activate an
additional flipper. The function keys also have standard uses throughout all
Just like in the previous title, once the ball sticks to a flipper, the
table will be scanned in the appropriate direction. Things are a lot more
involved though since it matters where upon a flipper the ball sticks. In
classic mode, you have to hit the appropriate key to catch the ball on the
flipper before it rolls too far. Initially, I felt somewhat cheated by this
as it seemed unrealistically slow given the speed at which such decisions
must be made in actual Pinball. However, I've come to appreciate the logic
behind this as it gives more opportunity for blind people to dig deeply into
the strategy of Pinball. The special features of tables in Pinball Xtreme
are far more involved than those in Pinball Classic. For instance, the Top
Gun table has you use the arrow keys to lock onto enemies and the space bar
is used to fire missiles at them once the ball is in play. Reading the
manual is a very good idea even for veterans of Pinball Classic. This last
item deserves special mention in the Interface coverage of this review as it
is not just a text file. Instead, it is all done in HTML. You can easily
click on links to get to each section. It's very quick and neatly done
I was very impressed with the sound work which went into Pinball Xtreme.
From the background arcade sound in the table selection menu to the unique
sounds of each table, no corners were cut here at all. The table selection
sounds are funny enough yet brief enough that they can be enjoyed without
becoming eventually annoying. During game play, it is easy to have a sense
of direction and to get a grip on where various bumpers, switches and other
features are on the various tables. One notable and very welcome area of
improvement is the way you can follow the ball sonically as it rolls around
the tables. That aspect of things seems a lot more intuitive and detailed.
Once in a while, however, the ball does seem to jump suddenly from one side
to the other. I particularly notice this in the Top Gun table. At times,
things can get a bit repetitive such as what characters say on the Sudwerks
table and the sound of enemy destruction on other tables. However, this is
not a painful shortcoming and you'll find that you're too caught up in the
game to have it draw your attention too much. You can adjust the relative
volume of music and ambient sounds so that you aren't distracted unfairly by
them. Introductory sequences to tables are interesting and funny the first
time they are heard and can easily be skipped if they grow tiresome.
Overall, I'd give this game a full ten out of ten for sound effects.
Once the ball is moving on the table, the action is fast and furious on any
of the tables. The tension is no less present while you have no direct
control over the ball's movement. The excitement lies in seeing if you've
anticipated where it goes and what angle it bounces off obstacles. Each
table is quite unique and offers its own special challenges. Merlin's
Laboratory seemed about the weakest and least exciting table to me. However,
others may find its more scientific and logical play to their liking. The
table is well-built but lacks enough variety and action. Merlin should have
had to deal with emergencies or try to conjure up certain potions to help
King Arthur with problems. Perhaps, monsters could have gotten loose in the
lab and Merlin could have used the pinball to vanquish them. We have an
unfortunate case of a setting and premise not being used to its fullest.
However, other tables more than made up for this one disappointment in my
case. I had some misgivings about the Alien Outback table not seeing how
such a deep and strategic game could be effectively ported to the Pinball
genre. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by that table. It's a
terrific game in its own right despite lacking some of the depth of the game
it gives homage to. Dealing with the aliens demands quick thinking and
careful use of the ball. There is also your energy level to maintain giving
this table a good amount of strategic depth.
By far, my two favorite tables are Top Gun and Sudwerks. Top Gun is the
hardest most unforgiving table. You have to try and hit the six spell
switches to spell out top gun before running out of missiles, crashing into
a mountain or being shot down by enemies. The ball sounds like a jet as it
rolls around the board and sounds of obstacles are suitably high-tech. I don't
think it's fair that you can so easily run out of missiles and are then
absolutely helpless against enemies. I've only succeeded once in hitting all
six switches and getting to the bonus area where missiles can be obtained.
Despite the high level of frustration, I still enjoy playing that table and
am drawn back for another go at it often. Sudwerks is a tremendous
accomplishment. You play the role of a bartender and must use the pinball to
go behind the bar, obtain drinks, and then serve the right drinks to the
right customers. The mini-game you play in order to stock your tray with
drinks is a bit too repetitive and I think the order of the drinks could
have been randomized. That's a problem with a few of the mini-games in
Pinball Xtreme. Other than that single gripe and the repetitive nature of
some character lines, it's hard to find fault with this table. You have to
hear where the ball is heading and use the arrow keys to select the correct
drink to be delivered should the ball come into contact with a customer. You
also have to keep track of which customers have yet to ask for a drink and
which ones are waiting for their orders. Most customers merely express their
disappointment with you when you hand them the wrong drink. One of them,
however, takes somewhat more drastic action. Hitting the spell switches
initiates a bar brawl which you can score bonus points partaking in. While
more interaction between the characters would have been nice, the table is,
I feel, the best balanced of them all. It demands a good deal of thought and
skill while still being capable of surprising the player.
Unlike entirely too many games, Pinball Xtreme offers players endless replay
value. The physics governing the ball's movement is such that you'd be hard
pressed to have two balls play out exactly the same. James North and Josh de
Lioncourt have succeeded admirably at bringing an innovative and accessible
interpretation of a universally enjoyable pastime to blind people. Work is
even now continuing on a table editor which will be made available for
registered owners of Pinball Xtreme so that they can create and share their
own tables. The door has also been left open for further expansions having
additional tables to be forthcoming from Adora Entertainment. Due to the
excellent sound effects, great game play and attention to detail, I can
confidently recommend Pinball Xtreme to almost any gamer ten years old and
up. It's been a long wait, but those who stuck it out and others who
purchase the game will find it a very rewarding investment. I give this game
an eight out of ten.
The direct download link for the English version is:
"Mudsplat is a game developed for blind and visually impaired children
between 6 and 12 years of age. It is part of a series of games developed
within the TiM project. The TiM Project is a Research Project funded by the
European Commission, on the Programme IST 2000. In this European project
blind and visually impaired children in Sweden, France and the UK helped to
develop games which would be just as enjoyable for them as the visual
computer games are for other children.
MudSplat is an arcade like game where the player defeats mud throwing
monsters by squirting water at them. The player can hear the monsters
appearing on a line in front of him. He/she estimates their position (thanks
to the stereo panning sound) and can move left or right (with the keyboard
or a gamepad); then when he/she thinks a monster is in front of him, they can
shoot with a water hose. The monster who doesn't like to be clean,
then disappears. The monsters can also throw mud, (if hit, the player will
loose one life).
After having defeated a certain number of monsters, the player will reach
the next level. 25 levels of increasing difficulty allow the skilled player to
play for a long time, while beginners can still have fun on easy levels. The
main traditional features of arcade games were implemented (like extra
lives, levels, bonus objects, bonus levels,etc.). A high score list is
maintained where the player may insert his name.
The game is also available in French and Swedish.
The following organizations were involved in the making of Mudsplat:
U483/Inova, at University Pierre et Marie Curie, France Daydreaming Fingers
Association, France Computer Science Laboratory of Le Havre, at University
of Le Havre, France BrailleNet Association, France Stockholm International
Toys Research Centre, at Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden Sunderland
University, United Kingdom The Swedish Institute for Special Needs
Education, Sweden and Virtua ltd, United Kingdom."
All material to be included in future issues of Audyssey should be sent
to me at the following address:
1180 Dorval Dr. #303
Oakville On L6M 3G1
for MSN no email.
Brenda Green is the co moderator. Her efforts on behalf of the Audyssey
community are very much appreciated. She can be contacted at:
Kevin, co-owner/moderator of the blind gamers discussion list also
helps out greatly with the community and can be contacted at the
Distribution Information and Submission Policies
This magazine is published on a quarterly basis, each issue appearing
no earlier than the fifteenth of the publication month for its quarter.
All submissions to be published in an issue must be in my possession a
minimum of two days before the issue is published. I use MS-Word to
produce Audyssey, and can therefore accept submissions in pretty much
any format. They may be sent either on a 3.5-inch floppy disk, or via
Please write articles and letters about games or game-related
topics which interest you. They will likely interest me, and your
fellow readers. This magazine should and can be a
highly interesting and qualitative look at accessible gaming. To insure
that high quality is maintained, I'll need your
written contributions. I reserve the right to unilaterally make changes
to submissions if I deem it necessary to improve them grammatically or
enhance their understand ability. I will never make changes which will
alter the spirit of a submission.
All submissions must be in English. However, people need not be great
writers to have their work appear in Audyssey.
Many of our community come from different countries. Others are quite
young. Where possible, I try to preserve their
different styles of expression. The richness that this adds to the
Audyssey experience far outweighs any benefits
gained from having everything in prose so perfect as to be devoid of
life. Audyssey is a community and magazine built
on the need for blind people to have fun. There are no formal
structural requirements for submissions. Within reason,
they may be as long as necessary. Game reviews should all clearly state
who created the game being examined, where it
can be obtained, whether it can be played without sighted assistance,
and any system requirements or other critical
information. Although profanity is by no means banned, it should not be
used gratuitously. Submissions not published
in a current issue will be reserved for possible use in future issues
* Those who are on the Audyssey discussion list should be aware that I
often put materials from the list in the "Letters" section if I feel
that they warrant it. Anything posted to this discussion list that in
some way stands out from the common and often lively ongoing discourse
will be considered fair game for publishing unless it contains the
author's wish that it not be published. From now on, it is now
officially a policy of the Audyssey
This magazine is free in its electronic form, and will always remain
so. I'm writing this magazine as much
for my own interest as for everyone else's. Your articles, reviews, and
letters, as well as any games you might care to send me, are what I'm
after. Send any games, articles, letters, or reviews via E-mail, or on
a cd or 3.5-inch disk in a self- addressed mailer if you want your
media returned to you. Please only send shareware or freeware games. It
is illegal to send commercial games unless you are their creator or
have obtained permission to do so. By sending me games, you will do
several things: first, and most obviously, you will earn my gratitude.
You will also insure that the games you send me are made available to
my readership as a whole. If you can, I recommend that you send e-mail.
I can send and receive attachments with ease. This way, no money will
be wasted sending me a game I already have, and you'll get my reply
more quickly. You are responsible for shipping costs. That means,
either use a disk mailer which has your address on it, and is either
free matter for the blind, or is properly stamped. I can and will
gladly spare time to share games and my knowledge of them, but cannot
currently spare money above what I spend hunting for new games. I
encourage all my readers to give my magazine to whoever they think will
appreciate it. Up-load it onto web pages and bulletin board systems.
Copy it on disk for people, or print it out for sighted people who may
find it of value. The larger our community gets, the more
self-sustaining it will become.
Those who want to receive issues of Audyssey as they are published
should send a blank E-mail to:
The Audyssey discussion list facilitates discussion about games
accessible to the blind between the publication of issues of Audyssey.
All are welcome as long as they respect their fellow community members
and keep in mind that the topic of the list is supposed to be games.
Other topics are allowed within reason as long as they don't begin to
monopolize the list traffic for too long. Newcomers should be advised
that traffic is frequently fairly heavy. Anyone participating in the
discussion list will have issues of Audyssey automatically sent to them
via E-mail. Representatives from all major developers of games for the
blind are actively participating on the list. There are two moderators
keeping things civil and orderly. Be certain to read the Audyssey
Community Charter as all list members are expected to follow its rules.
If you want an active role in shaping the future of accessible games,
this is where you can dive right in. To subscribe to this discussion
list, send a blank message to:
Stan Bobbitt has made Audyssey Magazine available in HTML format for
easy on-line browsing. To take advantage of this, you are invited to
visit our home-page. People can easily and quickly navigate through the
various articles and reviews, and directly download or visit the sites
of the games that interest them. This will be of especial benefit for
sighted people who wish to make use of Audyssey and/or join the growing
community surrounding it. The Audyssey community thanks Mr. Bobbitt for
his continued efforts on its behalf in this matter.
Darren Duff also provides a home for Audyssey.
Where the issues can be read, downloaded individually or one zip file
of all the issues. Thanks Darren!
Another site has recently added Audyssey issues to its resources. We
Note the dash in the below address.
to the Audyssey community and hope that visitors to this site find our
resource to be of value to them.
Also the newest place to find Audyssey issues is
Again our thanks for providing a home for the magazine.